Afghanistan – girls’ education


This week, girls in Afghanistan should have been starting another year in secondary school with hope and aspiration. But for the past year, girls have not been allowed to attend Grades 6 to 12. We urge the de facto authorities to open schools to girls at all levels, as well as universities.

The denial of a secondary school education and of access to university is manifestly discriminatory, profoundly distressing for girls and women, along with their families and communities, and deeply damaging to the country as a whole.

The decision to deny girls and women their right to an education exposes them to violence, poverty and exploitation. Disempowering half of Afghanistan’s population is counterproductive and unjust. Structural discrimination such as this is also deeply damaging for the country’s prospects for future recovery and development.

Education is a fundamental human right. As a State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Afghanistan is obliged to ensure that everyone has access to an education.

The de facto authorities have pledged that all women and girls will be allowed to go to school. Our Office urges that they honour this promise, without delay.

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