girls schoolingUnited Nations (UN) says the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan continues to severely restrict access to education for women and girls Overall, for the first nine months (1 January to 30 September) of 2015, approximately 210 schools closed due to conflict, affecting access to education to more than 20,500 girls.

Direct threats by armed opposition groups against schooling for girls affected access to education for approximately 17,000 female students. Eastern region remains the most acutely affected, whereby at least 13,000 girls no longer go to school due to threats, closures and direct attacks.

“Across the world, violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent, yet one of the most silenced realities,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA. “This year Afghanistan has witnessed some horrific incidents of violence against women, and we have also witnessed unprecedented collective action as women and men from different walks of life have come forward in solidarity to demand justice for the victims of violence against women and girls. Justice and accountability must be upheld.”

UN Women Country Representative in Afghanistan says to prevent violence against women and girls and provide opportunities for them to develop, the government of Afghanistan, its people and international community needs to work together.

“For violence against women and girls to be put behind us, it is essential that the government and people of Afghanistan, in partnership with the international community, work together in support of each other to live up to the guarantees in the Constitution,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, UN Women Country Representative in Afghanistan. “There needs to be effective implementation of the laws that protect all citizens, especially women and girls. Critically, an environment needs to be created where women and girls feel safe and are provided with an opportunity for development, not just at home, but in public as well.”

UN’s concerns and recommendations come on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) which is November 25.

But Afghanistan is observing this day as violence against women and girls remains widespread.