Earlier this week, dozens of girls protested in Afghanistan’s Paktia province after Taliban authorities shut their schools just days after classes resumed. The Taliban has gone back on its promise to allow girls education a number of times since taking power and the frustration and despair among local citizens continues to mount. Approximately three million girls are currently banned from getting secondary education in Afghanistan.

Just last month, a senior Taliban member told the media that the group is working to create a so-called “safe environment” for girls and women in secondary schools and the workplace, adding that Islam grants women the right to education, work, and entrepreneurship. Such statements have been circulated on multiple occasions, but the Taliban has failed to keep its word.

Earlier this month, four girls’ schools above sixth grade in Gardez, the provincial capital, and one in the Samkani district began operating after a recommendation by tribal elders and school principals, but without formal permission from the Taliban’s Ministry of Education. Upon arriving at the school on Saturday, they were asked to return home. Even back in March this year something similar had transpired after the Taliban shuttered all girls’ secondary schools hours after reopening them for the first time under their rule. Schools remain shut in most provinces including the capital Kabul, as well as Kandahar.

The protestors feel that they are being given false hope and that they have had enough. The protests were not allowed to be covered by journalists and were soon dispersed by security forces as has become the norm. It is baffling as to what the Afghan government’s strategy is in this case, other than drawing the ire of the international community and further proving that it is incapable of upholding its promises. This is an unfortunate situation and with the country facing a humanitarian crisis, support from the international community will not be forthcoming if the Taliban continue to govern in such a fashion.