According to Reuters reporting on 12 October 2021, although secondary schools are closed for girls in much Afghanistan, local authorities in Mazar-i-Sharif (close to the border with Uzbekistan) have taken a different approach
. The report states: "Though the Taliban banned girls from attending school during their previous rule until 2001, education advocates say that in recent years the ability of girls to access education in Taliban-controlled areas varied depending on local commanders and the influence and wishes of local communities."
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller comments: "The subject of education illustrates perfectly that the Taliban is not yet following a uniform approach. Girls in northern Afghanistan can still attend school classes as long as they follow strict dressing regulations. However, the so-called "˜Islamic Emirate" (as Taliban likes to refer to its government set-up) has only been in full power for two months and it could be that such regional differences will gradually disappear with time. The Taliban"s vague promise
(BBC Newsround, 24 September 2021) that girls should have access to and can continue their education
(The Guardian, 12 September 2021) rings somewhat hollow against this background. It also seems highly unlikely that such regional differences would have any effect regarding the treatment of religious minorities."