#IAmMySong protest gaining traction on Twitter after a Memo banning Afghan girls singing
A memo from Afghanistan’s education ministry banning girls 12 years old and older from singing at school functions has been causing a stir on social media, prompting the authorities to say it was a mistake and that its authors had misunderstood the objective.
The controversy comes as women’s rights activists and civil society groups are fighting to ensure that fragile human rights gains made over the last 20 years in Afghanistan take center stage in the peace talks underway with the insurgents. It also shows how the rights of girls and women are under threat from conservatives on both sides of the protracted conflict.
The hashtag campaign was started by Ahmad Sarmast, the founder of Afghanistan’s Institute of Music. It has had over 600,000 clicks, according to Haroon Baluch of BytesforAll, a Pakistan-based rights organization that monitors internet traffic. He also said the trend is building.
Sarmast said he began the #IAmMySong to “let authorities know that the people of Afghanistan oppose this decision and they will stand for the rights of the children, whether boys or girls.”
The memo violates both national and international law, Sarmast said. According to one tweet, 100,000 signatures have been collected throughout several Afghan provinces to protest the directive.