On the first anniversary of girls being banned from attending high schools in Afghanistan, the UN renewed its call that the Taliban immediately reopen high schools for everyone.
The acting head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Markus Potzel, condemned the anniversary as “tragic, shameful, and entirely avoidable.”
Last year on the same day, September 18, high schools reopened to boys, while the Taliban ordered girls to stay at home.
At that time, the Taliban government declared that all schools will open this spring. However, they have disregarded their promise by not allowing girls to attend school past the sixth grade.
“The ongoing exclusion of girls from high school has no credible justification and has no parallel anywhere in the world,” the UNAMA statement on the exclusion of the girls from school, released on September 18, reads.
Girls are not allowed to attend in classes seven through twelve under the ban, which mostly impacts girls between the ages of 12 and 18 and “profoundly” damages Afghanistan’s future.
According to the statement, the most fundamental rights of girls and women are violated when education is denied to them, which in turn puts them in danger of being marginalized, exploited and abused.
If the ban on girls attending high school is upheld, this and other measures that restrict Afghans’ basic freedoms will exacerbate Afghanistan’s current issues, which include increased insecurity, poverty, and isolation, the statement said.