UN to Taliban on allowing girls in high schools: 'Respect right to education'

Published on Mar 28, 2022 10:02 AM IST

The Taliban's decision to ban girls from attending schools above grade six comes seven months after it gained control over Afghanistan in a violent takeover in August last year.

Women rights activists in the war-torn country have warned of nationwide protests if the Taliban fails to reopen girls' secondary schools within a week.(AFP photo)
Women rights activists in the war-torn country have warned of nationwide protests if the Taliban fails to reopen girls' secondary schools within a week.(AFP photo)
By | Edited by Swati Bhasin, New Delhi

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has expressed deep concerns over the Taliban government in Afghanistan banning girls from attending school above the sixth grade. On Friday, the UNSC members heard a briefing by the secretary general's special representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, over the right to education for all Afghans, including girls.

In a statement, the UNSC said on Sunday, “Security Council members reaffirmed the right to education for all Afghans, including girls, and called on the Taliban to respect the right to education and adhere to their commitments to reopen schools for all female students without further delay.”

The members requested the SRSG to continue to engage with all relevant Afghan stakeholders on the issue, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan's (UNAMA's) mandate, and keep the Security Council informed on progress.

“The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of efforts by the international community to support Afghanistan, including on education, and highlighted the coordinating role of the UNAMA in this regard,” the UNSC statement on Sunday added.

The Taliban's decision to ban girls from attending schools above grade six comes seven months after it gained control over Afghanistan in a violent takeover in August last year.

Last week, thousands of secondary school girls in Afghanistan were eager to attend classes for the first time since August 2021. However, orders were issued to shut down schools within a few hours. Girl students have been instructed to stay at home until the Taliban government announces its next decision.

Women rights activists in the war-torn country have warned of nationwide protests if the Taliban fails to reopen girls' secondary schools within a week. "We call on the leaders of the Islamic Emirate to open girls' schools within one week. If the girls' schools remain closed even after one week, we will open them ourselves and stage demonstrations throughout the country until our demands are met," a statement issued by women's rights groups read.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, female students in the capital city of Kabul took to the streets to protest against the ban on attending classes. They chanted slogans "education is our absolute right" and demanded the reopening of schools for girls in classes 7-12.

The Talibani education ministry has not yet given a reason for the ban, but a senior leader of the Islamic Emirate told news agency AFP on Sunday that some practical issues still had to be resolved before reopening schools.

 

 

 

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