South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, vehemently condemns the Taliban’s latest decision on 23 March 2022 to deny girls their right to education despite several false assurances that all girls will be permitted to go to school.
The Taliban assured the Afghan people and the international community that girls would have access to education when they came into power. Although the Taliban has not banned girls’ education, they have been giving excuses to stop girls from going to school stating the need to create a safe learning environment. Last week their Ministry of Education issued a statement regarding the reopening of schools and assured equal access to all. Girls over the age of 11 were waiting to return to school on 23 March 2022 after the long winter break, however yet again the Taliban’s spokesperson informed of the postponement of the resumption of schooling for girls giving the same excuse.
Taliban’s policy of reversal is deeply worrying and casts serious doubt over their commitment to girls’ education. SAHR believes that this blatant violation of the human rights of the women and girl children would severely hamper their chances to live a decent and fulfilling life.
As the government, it’s the duty and the responsibility of the Taliban to prioritise the well-being of all Afghan citizens, and not discriminate women and girls. Women’s right to education is ensured in all South Asian countries including the other Muslim majority nations. Therefore, SAHR strongly urges the Taliban to reverse their decision immediately and assure that girls of all ages are allowed to return to schools to continue their education.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights,
Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy
Dr. Roshmi Goswami
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