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#IAmMySong: Afghanistan Ban on Girls Singing in Public Reversed

A few weeks ago, Afghanistan's Ministry of Education banned schoolgirls over the age of 12 from singing in public.

Kabul's Education Department decreed in a memo to school boards that girls would only be permitted to sing at events attended exclusively by women, and would be prohibited from learning from a male music teacher. The new restrictions were presented with the reasoning that students should focus on their schoolwork, but were met with widespread criticism from the public. The government faced heavy accusations of promotion of gender discrimination and sympathizing with the Taliban.

The ban on singing for girls was soon picked up by social media, with women all over Afghanistan, including many activists and leaders, posting videos of themselves singing, using the hashtag #IAmMySong.

One tweet reads, "I once read that you were 'one of the leading voices for Afghan women'. But I didn't know you would use your voice to shut down those of young Afghan girls. We'd all love to hear the logic behind this. What is the goal?"

In response, the government released a new statement claiming that the ban had been a mistake and a misunderstanding, and reversed the restrictions. The protests, however, are still picking up steam as activists fight to protect the already-limited rights of women in Afghanistan.


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