Diplomatic Missions of the I. R. of Afghanistan: International Day of Education


Statement of the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistanon the International Day of Education

Canberra, 24 January 2023 - On the International Day of Education, we express once again our deep concern over the Taliban’s continued repressive and discriminatory policies aimed at erasing women and girls from public life which continues to have a devastating impact on Afghan society and economy.

We appreciate the ongoing efforts and campaigns under UNESCO in support of education for women and girls worldwide and extend our deep gratitude for dedicating the 2023 International Day of Education to Afghan girls and women, highlighting one of the main global crises of our time.

Since the occupation of Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan women and girls have been deprived of their fundamental right of access to education beyond the elementary level as part of the Taliban’s gender-based discrimination policy which is a gross violation of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights.

From 2001 to 2021, the contributions of UNESCO and the international community to Afghanistan’s education sector resulted in an unprecedented increase in the number of girls in primary education from almost zero to 2.5 million. This marked an increase from 5000 women in higher education to more than 100,000 and an increase in women's literacy rate from 17% to 30%.  Most tragically, the Taliban have been reversing these and other important gains achieved through joint efforts and sacrifices of the people of Afghanistan and our international partners in the area of women’s empowerment and other fields.

Currently, more than 80% of school-aged girls and women in Afghanistan are deprived of their universal human right access to education. Rejecting all national and international appeals, the Taliban do not allow women to peruse their aspirations, to have a role in society, and more broadly, to have a future. Their discriminatory policies constitute a war of deprivation against Afghan women and girls and apparently a war against the future generations of Afghanistan. We see with great admiration how courageous Afghan girls and women, despite all these challenges, resist these medieval and draconian policies by protesting on the streets and resorting to secret self-education. As they continue their fight for their fundamental rights and put their lives at risk, we all must support them with all the possible means at our disposal, in their great and heroic struggle for their rights and freedom. 

The International Day of Education celebrates the role of education in peace and security. As this year’s theme focuses on maintaining strong political mobilization around education and charting the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action, we urge the international community to 1) help restore and uphold the fundamental rights of all Afghan citizens particularly women and girls, 2) prioritize access to education of Afghan women and girls on their agenda, and 3) develop and implement pragmatic, innovative and effective actions and programs based on best practices in this regard.  On this occasion, we also once again join all national and international appeals calling for the immediate release of all the courageous Afghan women’s rights activists and protestors who have been forcibly detained by the Taliban.

Last modified on Tuesday, 24/01/2023

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