Kabul: As the closure of schools for girls in Afghanistan completed one year on Sunday, the acting head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Markus Potzel said that the ongoing exclusion of girls from high schools has no justification and condemned the anniversary as tragic, shameful, and entirely avoidable.
"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 read, Khaama Press reported. The previous year, on September 18, the high schools in Afghanistan opened their gates to boys whereas girls were ordered to stay at home by the Taliban.
According to the statement, most of the fundamental rights of girls and women are violated as education is denied to them, which in turn puts them in danger of being marginalized, exploited, and abused, Khaama Press reported.
Several human rights and education activists had urged world leaders in an open letter recently to mount diplomatic pressure on the Taliban to reopen secondary schools for girls in the war-torn country as the Taliban's brutal regime in Afghanistan will soon complete a year in August.
World leaders, regional allies, and international organizations were urged in the letter to take serious actions to fulfil their commitments in order to promote and protect Afghan girls' rights, especially the right to education which was snatched away from them after the Taliban-led Afghan government banned the education for girls in classes 6 and above.
Taliban has imposed draconian restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and movement for women and girls.
The Taliban's decision to ban female students above grade six from going to school has drawn widespread criticism at the national and international levels. Further, the Taliban regime which took over Kabul in August last year has curtailed women's rights and freedoms, with women largely excluded from the workforce due to the economic crisis and restrictions.
As a result of this, women and girls in Afghanistan are facing a human rights crisis, deprived of the fundamental rights to non-discrimination, education, work, public participation, and health.