UN condemns ‘shameful’ year-long ban on Afghan girls’ education

KABUL: United Nations appeals Taliban on Sunday to reopen all-girls high schools Afghanistancondemned the ban, which began exactly one year ago, as “tragic and shameful”.
Weeks after the Taliban took power last August, hard-line Islamists reopened all-boys high schools on September 18, 2021, but banned high school students from attending classes. .
Next month on March 23, Ministry of Education opened secondary schools for girls, but within hours, the Taliban leadership ordered classes to be closed again.
Since then, more than a million teenage girls have been deprived of education across the country, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.
“This is a tragic, shameful and completely avoidable anniversary,” Markus PotzelUNAMA’s powerful head in a statement.
“It is deeply damaging to a generation of girls and to the future of Afghanistan itself,” he said.
Head of the United Nations Antonio Guterres urged the Taliban to revoke the ban.
“A year of lost knowledge and opportunities they will never get back,” Guterres said on Twitter.
“The girls belong to the school. The Taliban have to send them back to school.”
Some Taliban officials say the ban is temporary, but they also cite a variety of reasons for the closure – from a lack of funding to the time it takes to revamp the Islamic curriculum.
Earlier this month, the Education Minister was quoted by local media as saying it was a cultural issue, as many rural residents did not want their daughters to go to school.
After taking power last August 15 amid a chaotic retreat of foreign forces, the Taliban have promised a softer version of their harsh Islamic regime that has ruled Afghanistan since 1996. to 2001.
But within days, they began to impose severe restrictions on girls and women in order to adhere to their austere vision of Islam – effectively excluding them from public life.
In addition to closing all-girls high schools, the Taliban banned women from many government jobs and also ordered them to cover up in public, preferably using a full-face hood.
Some girls’ high schools remain open in provinces far from the central power bases of Kabul and Kandahar because of pressure from families and tribal leaders.

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