Afghan officials reverse ban on girls singing
A ban on girls singing in public imposed by education officials in the Afghan capital last week has been overturned after a social media campaign that included local women uploading videos of themselves belting out their favourite songs.
Schoolgirl choirs are a regular feature of official Afghan events, but when education authorities in Kabul banned the participation of teenagers it prompted an immediate backlash.
The order raised fears that education officials were "Talibanising" the country, heralding a return to when the authoritarian Islamist group barred the participation of women in almost all parts of society outside their own homes.
Late Sunday, the education ministry issued a statement saying the ban "does not reflect the positions or policies of the Ministry".
The announcement followed a furious backlash from social media users using the hashtag "#IAmMySong" to raise awareness.
"In Afghanistan today the Ministry of Education suffocated the voices of our little girls by making it illegal for them to sing," tweeted Shamila Kohestani, former captain of the national women's football team.