While the world celebrates International Day of Women and Girls in Science and Technology, Afghanistan stands as the only country with no achievements to celebrate on this day. The United Nations stated on February 11th, coinciding with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, that full and equal participation of women and girls in science, technology, and innovation is essential for economic development.
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has designated February 11th as the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science,” celebrated worldwide.
While countries around the world honor this day to showcase their contributions towards gender equality and social welfare, women and girls in Afghanistan are deprived of their most fundamental rights, including the right to education. All universities, schools, and educational centers in Afghanistan have been devoid of girls’ presence over the past two and a half years.
The Taliban regime has not issued any statement commemorating this day, despite Afghan women and girls achieving remarkable advancements in the field of science and technology before the Taliban takeover.
An education activist from a school in Kabul told Khaama Press, “Formal education starts from schools, and all those who have succeeded in the fields of science and technology have certainly passed through the school system. However, girls in Afghanistan are deprived of even starting this journey.”
She urged girls to respond to the “inhumane reality in Afghanistan” by accepting alternatives such as online education, learning international languages, and pursuing studies in foreign universities.
Approximately 900 days have passed since the Taliban seized power and deprived girls of attending schools. During this time, millions of girls (80% of girls) have been confined to their homes and faced the repercussions of mandatory deprivation, including psychological problems, suicide attempts, early and forced marriages, and humiliation.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) wrote on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on the social media platform X, stating that “full and equal participation of women and girls in science, technology, and innovation is not only essential for economic development but also crucial for all sectors of society.”
UNESCO also wrote in a message on this day that biased attitudes and stereotypical threats against women and girls must be stopped immediately.