Exclusion of Afghan girls from ‘shameful’ high school

Exclusion of Afghan girls from ‘shameful’ high school

Afghanistan (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Afghanistan (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

On Sunday the United Nations asked the Afghan Taliban rulers to reopen schools for girls in grades 7-12, calling the anniversary of their exclusion from high school “shameful”.

The UN said it was increasingly concerned that the policy, along with other restrictions on fundamental freedoms, will contribute to a deepening of the country’s economic crisis in the form of greater insecurity, poverty and isolation.

“This is a tragic, shameful and completely avoidable anniversary,” said Markus Potzel, interim head of the UN mission in Afghanistan.

A year after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, hardliners appear to have power in the Taliban-led government. Teenage girls are still excluded from school and women are required to cover themselves from head to toe in public, showing only their eyes. The religious group failed to keep various promises to allow the girls to return to class. The ban affects grades 7-12, mainly affecting girls between the ages of 12 and 18.

The Taliban reopened high school for boys while ordering girls to stay home. The UN estimates that more than one million girls have been barred from attending high school in the past year.

“The continued exclusion of girls from high school has no credible justification and is unparalleled anywhere in the world. It is deeply harmful to a generation of girls and to the future of Afghanistan itself, ”said Potzel, who is also the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.

To celebrate the anniversary of Sunday, 50 girls sent a letter entitled “A year of darkness: a letter from Afghan girls to the leaders of Muslim countries and other world leaders”. The girls come from the capital Kabul, the eastern province of Nangarhar and the northern province of Parwan.

“Last year we were denied human rights, such as the right to an education, the privilege to work, the freedom to live with dignity, freedom, mobility and speech, and the right to determine and decide for ourselves.” , Azadi, an 18-year-old eleventh-year student from Kabul, said in the letter. The girls mentioned in the letter only gave their name.

The UN has argued that denial of education violates the most basic rights of girls and women. The global body said it increases the risk of marginalization, violence, exploitation and abuse against girls and is part of a wider range of policies and practices that discriminate against women and girls since de facto authorities took over in the summer of 2021.

The United Nations has again called on the Taliban to revoke the series of measures they have introduced limiting the enjoyment by Afghan women and girls of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

Since taking power, the Taliban have struggled to rule and have remained internationally isolated. An economic recession has driven millions more Afghans to poverty and starvation as the flow of foreign aid has slowed to a trickle.

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