Statement on Continuation of Restrictions on Girl's Education in Afghanistan
The 23rd of March marks the sad day for the Afghan girls and society where the dreams and aspirations of the Afghan girls, their families and the wider world have been shattered. After seven months of waiting, girls with eagerness and fervour made their way to what they hoped would be their first day back to school, since they have been denied to attend schools by the Taliban group.
During the negotiations with the US in Doha, and after military takeover, the militant Taliban group gave assurances and promised to the international community to reopen the schools for girls of all ages. Today, they have demonstrated yet again failure to uphold their promises.
Education is a fundamental human right, regardless of gender. The denial of this right has traumatised the whole of Afghan society, particularly the girls. As a consequence, it puts girls more at risk of violence, exploitation, marginalisation and poverty. Girls are entitled to the full development of their personality and sense of dignity. The politics of exclusion is nothing but further suppression and an absolute signifier of totalitarian policy of an untrusted militant group.
The Taliban’s promise to uphold the rights of all, including girls, is shallow one and we urge the international community not to take their words seriously. While sharing High Commissioner Michael Bachelet’s concerns and disappointments, we further reiterate our call on the United Nations and International partners to work for the formation of an inclusive, representative, accountable and responsible government that promotes and protects the rights of all, including girls and women.
We also share in the sadness of the young girls who went to school today with enthusiasm to learn, build bright futures, and become active members of the society, but had to return home in tears to their families. We demand that the Taliban immediately allow girls of all ages to return to school and respect their equal right to education.