An Afghan teenage girl, Sotooda Forotan, was listed among 25 influential women of 2021 in a list put out by the UK-based newspaper the Financial Times. Forotan, 15, is a student who stood up against a decision to ban girls from schools in grades 7-12 after the Islamic Emirate swept into power. In September, the government announced that boys are allowed to attend schools but girls aged 7-12 are not allowed to continue their education until a proper segregated structure could be put in place. On October 21, speaking at an event held to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Forotan dared to ask the officials of the Islamic Emirate to reopen their schools. “Today, as a representative of girls, I want to deliver a message that is in our hearts. We all know that Herat is a city of knowledge… why should the schools be closed to girls?” she told an audience of around 200 during the ceremony.Her video of the event went viral on Afghan social media, where she was highly praised for taking such a risk.