Afghanistan: Girls’ education must be a given, urges deputy UN chief

3 weeks ago 9

Ms. Mohammed was speaking during a sheet treatment connected supporting a aboriginal for girls’ acquisition successful Afghanistan, held connected the margins of the UN General Assembly.

My reply to the question of what the planetary assemblage tin bash for the acquisition of Afghan girls is simple:

Stand up for their rights.
Respond to humanitarian needs.
Invest much successful livelihoods and connectivity. pic.twitter.com/0VLnCDU8VX

— Amina J Mohammed (@AminaJMohammed) September 24, 2021

Prominent women advocates from Afghanistan and the planetary assemblage besides participated successful the discussion, held some online and successful person, and moderated by BBC analogous Laura Trevelyan from UN Headquarters successful New York.

‘Front and centre’

Asked if planetary assistance to Afghanistan could beryllium conditional connected acquisition for women and girls, Ms. Mohammed responded “absolutely”, stating that the contented “continues to stay upfront” successful ongoing discussions with the de facto authorities.

“This is wherever we person to person resolve: that designation comes with your quality to beryllium portion of a planetary family. That has a definite acceptable of values and rights that indispensable beryllium adhered to.  And acquisition is up beforehand and centre, particularly for girls and for women.”

The lawman UN main urged the planetary assemblage to gully connected Afghan women’s expertise and enactment them successful preventing a reversal of 2 decades of gains successful girls’ education.

A ‘zero condition’

Ms. Mohammed besides reminded Afghan women that the UN is inactive connected the ground, delivering for the people.

“You tin beryllium assured that we volition proceed to amplify your voices and marque it a zero information that girls indispensable person an acquisition earlier the designation of immoderate Government that comes in,” she said.

Education is ‘everything’

The Taliban seized powerfulness successful August and precocious confirmed that portion secondary schools were reopening, lone boys would beryllium returning to the classroom. Women teachers successful the state are besides incapable to instrumentality to work.

This week, the administration’s spokesperson said a “safe learning environment” would request to beryllium established earlier girls could spell backmost to precocious school, according to media reports.

For technologist Somaya Faruqi, skipper of the Afghan girls’ robotics squad that has competed worldwide, acquisition means “everything”.   

“My procreation grew up with a dream: achieving large things for our state by pursuing an education. The satellite volition person everything to summation by lasting with us,” said Ms. Faruqi, who near Afghanistan successful the aftermath of the takeover.   

Education is some a close and an concern successful a country’s future, said Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.   

‘Important moment’

Prior to the Taliban takeover, UNICEF was operating successful areas of Afghanistan nether the group’s control. She said the bureau learned that galore Taliban members believed acquisition was important for their boys and girls. 

Even though UNICEF tripled the fig of schools unfastened successful Afghanistan, with 10 cardinal children attending, 4 cardinal of them girls, the state was already falling down successful acquisition provision. COVID-19 has further impacted progress.  

“Girls and boys successful galore of the provinces are starting to instrumentality to school, but we are not seeing the girls returning to secondary school,” said Ms. Fore.

“So, this is simply a existent important infinitesimal for the de-facto authorities to beryllium reasoning astir successful each region, successful each agrarian village: however to get the children - each the children, girls and boys - to school.”

Both Ms. Fore and the UN Deputy Secretary-General spoke of the committedness of integer exertion and region learning arsenic a solution for expanding acquisition opportunities.

"Out successful the agrarian communities, determination is skills-building and determination are community-based programmes, and we tin bash much with region acquisition and distant learning," the UNICEF main said.  "We request to person women teachers going backmost to schools, and we request much women teachers."

No compromises connected women’s rights

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and UN Messenger of Peace, Malala Yousafzai, famously survived a Taliban assassination effort portion a teen campaigning for girls’ acquisition successful her autochthonal Pakistan.   

Ms. Yousafzai feared the instrumentality of atrocities targeting women, arsenic good arsenic coercion and extremism, some successful Afghanistan and the region, and urged the planetary assemblage to guarantee women’s rights are upheld.

We cannot marque compromises connected the extortion of women's rights and connected the extortion of quality dignity.  This is simply a committedness that the UN has made, that they are determination to enactment for the extortion of quality dignity,” she said.

“So present is the clip that we instrumentality to that committedness and guarantee that their rights successful authorities are protected.  And 1 of those important rights is the close to education.”

'Listen to the people'

Fawzia Koofi, Afghanistan’s archetypal pistillate Deputy Speaker of Parliament, was besides the archetypal miss successful her household to spell to school.

She believes different predominantly Muslim countries successful the portion could property the Taliban connected girls’ education, due to the fact that what is happening successful Afghanistan differs from the remainder of the Islamic world.

“Within the Taliban determination mightiness beryllium individuals who person a antithetic mentation of Islamic principles, oregon adjacent a self-made interpretation, which cannot go portion of the government's policy,” said Ms. Koofi.

“When they were fighting, astir apt they had a antithetic policy. But erstwhile they are successful the government, they person to perceive to the radical of Afghanistan.”

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