The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has decided to dedicate the International Day of Education 2023 to Afghan girls and women, TOLOnews quoted director-general of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay as saying on Friday. On the occasion of an event at the UN headquarters, UNESCO will restate its plea to quickly restore the fundamental rights of Afghan women to education.
TOLOnews quoted Raihana, a nursing student, as saying that UNSECO and other international organizations must take concrete steps to address the issue of women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime.
“Only one day is not enough. UNESCO needs to try to talk with Islamic Emirate and lift all the restrictions,” she said. Afghanistan: Higher Education Minister Justifies Decision to Bar Women From Universities, Says ‘Ban Imposed Because of Gender Mixing, Courses Violated Islamic Values’.
However, refuting the claims by Afghan women and girls of deprivation from education, Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid said “Some issues are temporary and efforts are underway to solve them. The cooperation of the UN is important for the Afghan people and for the situation in Afghanistan.” According to UNESCO, currently, around 80 per cent of school-aged Afghan girls and young women are out of school under the Taliban rule, as they denied them access to secondary schools and universities, TOLOnews reported. Afghanistan: Kabul University Professor Tears His Diploma Certificates On Live TV in Protest After Taliban Banned Women From Universities (Watch Video).
After the Taliban ordered an indefinite ban on university education for Afghan girls, several humanitarian organizations, including Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a United Nations global, billion-dollar fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises called the Taliban authorities in Kabul to revoke their decision to suspend the university education of Afghan women.
According to Khaama Press, the ECW called on the interim Taliban government to allow all girls to return to education, saying that the UN-led humanitarian body stands in solidarity with women in Afghanistan and added that each one has an inherent human right to education. “Education Cannot Wait stands in solidarity with every girl and woman in Afghanistan. Each one has an inherent human right to education. We also stand in solidarity with every Afghan father, brother, husband and son, suffering the pain of seeing their daughter, sister, wife and mother brutally denied their right to an education,” Khaama Press reported citing the statement of ECW.
According to a UNICEF report released in August, the fact that girls in Afghanistan are deprived of secondary education has cost the country’s economy at least USD 500 million over the past 12 months, which amounts to 2.5 per cent of GDP. Since 15 August 2021, the de facto authorities have barred girls from attending secondary school, restricted women and girls’ freedom of movement, excluded women from most areas of the workforce and banned women from using parks, gyms and public bath houses. These restrictions culminate with the confinement of Afghan women and girls to the four walls of their homes.
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