On Monday, the United Nations took a significant step by including the rights of Afghan women and children on the agenda of the General Assembly.
In a significant development, the United Nations has added the rights of Afghan women and children to the agenda of the General Assembly. This move underscores the global commitment to addressing Afghan women and children’s pressing challenges, especially in the aftermath of the Taliban resurgence ban on girls’ education beyond the sixth grade.
Remarkably, Afghanistan is the world’s sole country with such restrictions on female education, highlighting the urgent need for international attention and action.
The Associated Press, in its reporting, has shed light on the concerning fact that even two years after the Taliban’s ban, Afghanistan continues to be the only nation imposing restrictions on female education. This situation underscores the critical nature of advocating for the rights and empowerment of Afghan women and girls globally.
According to the United Nations Children’s Agency, over 1 million girls are impacted by the ban on female education imposed by the Taliban takeover.
On the other hand, UNESCO’s statistics reveal a stark reality in Afghanistan, where approximately 80% of eligible school-age girls, totalling about 2.5 million, are denied access to education. Alarmingly, 30% of girls have never had the opportunity to attend primary schools, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive efforts to address this widespread educational crisis.
The ban on girls’ education in Afghanistan has faced worldwide condemnation. It stands as the Taliban administration’s foremost challenge in gaining international recognition as the legitimate governing authority in the country.
The ban on girls’ education in Afghanistan originated as a means of deprivation. It persisted for two consecutive years, enforced through roughly 70 orders issued by the Taliban regime’s de facto administration. These orders collectively aimed to curtail women’s freedoms and were implemented by various government authorities, marking a concerning and sustained restriction on educational opportunities for Afghan girls.
Roza Otunbayeva, the special representative for Afghanistan appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, highlighted a straightforward consequence of the education ban in Afghanistan: a shortage of trained healthcare professionals, underscoring the detrimental effects on the country’s healthcare system.
“Looking into the future and a scenario where nothing changes, where will the female doctors, midwives, gynaecologists, or nurses come from?” Otunbayeva said in an email to The Associated Press. “In a strictly gender-segregated society, how will Afghan women be able to get the most basic healthcare services if there are no female professionals to treat them?”
Students perceive the evident gender-based segregation in education as a stark “injustice against girls” and call upon society to take a stand against this discrimination, emphasizing the need for collective action and advocacy to rectify the situation.
Experts contend that the policies of the Taliban interim government, seen as promoting misogyny, have caused deep and lasting harm to society, with the recovery from these wounds expected to take years.