Kabul: International organisations have called for lifting the ban on girls' education, as for over two years now, girls have been barred from accessing education in Afghanistan, TOLO News reported. As the world celebrated the International Day of Education on January 24, various international organizations have urged for the opening of schools for girls.
The UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, Amnesty International, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, and other international groups asked the Taliban to lift the ban on girls' education, as reported by TOLO News.
Roza Otunbayeva, in a video released by UNAMA News on social media, 'X' emphasised that providing education for all is the foundation for Afghanistan's future. "In Afghanistan, education for all, for girls and boys, women and men, is more than just a fundamental right. It is the foundation for Afghanistan's future," she said.
On the International Day of Education, Otunbayeva highlighted that the opening of schools is not just a demand of Western nations but also the Muslim world, according to TOLO News. She further urged the Taliban to recognise that education is not just a moral imperative but critical for prosperity and peace.
Moreover, Otunbayeva stressed that the continued deprivation of Afghan girls from education will not only affect all Afghans but will also isolate Afghanistan globally. "To maintain the current path only inflicts further harm on all Afghans and risks isolating Afghanistan from both the Islamic world and the international community," she added.
"On this International Education Day, UNHCR continues to support the education of boys & girls. Despite challenges, education remains a beacon of hope for Afghans."
Further reiterating support, the UNHCR Afghanistan emphasised that the organisation works across Afghanistan to empower displaced and returnee communities.
"The UNHCR works across Afghanistan to empower displaced and returnee communities to shape a brighter future amidst adversity," the UNHCR Afghanistan posted on X. Amnesty International, in a statement, urged the Afghan government to ensure access to healthcare, reopen schools and universities, and allow women to work.
"Grant women and girls their full spectrum of rights including access to education for girls of all ages by immediately re-opening all schools and universities, ensuring access to healthcare, and allowing women to return to work," the organisation stated.
"In the holy religion of Islam, every day is the day of education, but unfortunately, today, on the International Day of Education, schools and universities are closed.
We hope that the government of the Islamic Emirate reopens the closed doors of education as soon as possible," said Tafsir Seyaposh, a women's rights activist. However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid did not comment on the education of girls above the sixth grade; he has said the provision of education is one of the priorities of the current government.
"Education is a necessity, and the Islamic Emirate has prioritised education. We are trying to spend more of the budget on the education sector," Mujahid said. Notably, it has been over 800 days that girls above the sixth grade have not been allowed to go to school and nearly 400 days that universities have been closed to female students.