More than a dozen women and girls protested in front of the Ministry of Education in Kabul, on Saturday, as the Taliban rule took a sudden U-turn over higher education for girls.
High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said in a statement that “the de facto authority’s failure to adhere to commitments to reopen the schools for girls above the sixth grade – is deeply damaging for Afghanistan.”
After the Taliban abruptly closed girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan just hours after reopening them, the US and other Western nations condemned the move on Thursday.
Furthermore, the western nations have mentioned in their statement that “the Taliban’s action contradicted its public assurances to the Afghan people and to the international community.”
What makes it a big worry?
As explained by High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, “the denial of education violates the human rights for women and girls – beyond equal right to education, it leaves them more exposed to violence, poverty and exploitation.”
"Millions of secondary-school girls around Afghanistan woke up hopeful today that they will be able to go back to school and resume their learning. It did not take long for their hopes to be shattered."
statement by @unicefchief https://t.co/c5Fl1Q1b4q
— UNICEF Afghanistan (@UNICEFAfg) March 23, 2022
In addition to encroaching upon the human rights of women and girls, it also imperils the future of the country by restricting women’s contributions.
More than a dozen demonstrators were gathered in front of the Ministry of Education in Kabul.
They held the banners that mentions, “Education is our fundamental right, not a political plan.” They marched for a distance after which they were dispersed by the Taliban fighters, citing Aljazeera.
Education can be a way out of the economic, humanitarian and human rights crisis in the country. Therefore, such a decision is counterproductive and unjust as it deprives a significant population of the country of the prospects of recovery, development, and better living conditions.
According to the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Catherine Russell, this decision of shutting secondary schools for girls, “robbed of the opportunity to gain the skills they need to build their futures.”
“It’s basically a genocide of a generation,” said the former chairperson of the Afghanistan’s Women, Civil Society and Human Rights Commission, Fawzia Koofi, told the forum.
The Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, flagged an argument at the Doha Forum in Qatar, “it is much harder this time- that is because women have seen what it means to be educated, what it means to be empowered. This is going to be much harder for the Taliban to maintain the ban on girls’ education. This ban will not last forever.”