Afghanistan: UN calls on Taliban to reopen girls' schools closed for a year

Afghanistan: UN calls on Taliban to reopen closed girls' schools es for a year


The United Nations has again called on the Taliban authorities to take “urgent steps” to reopen secondary schools to girls from Afghanistan, calling their year-long closure “shameful” and “unparalleled in the world”.  

“Sunday marks one year of exclusion for girls from secondary school in Afghanistan. A year of lost knowledge and opportunities they will never find again. Girls have their place in school. The Taliban must let them back,” tweeted UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. . On March 23, the attempt to reopen the doors of colleges and high schools to them had lasted only a few hours. 

The same day, the Taliban had flip-flopped and re-announced their closure, much to the dismay of thousands of girls who had returned home in tears. 

Since then, the Taliban have maintained that the ban was only linked to a “technical problem” and that classes would resume once a program, based on Islamic precepts, had been defined.  

According to the United Nations, “more than a million girls” mainly between the ages of 12 and 18 have been prevented from going to school during the past year, which is not the case for boys for whom schools were reopened on September 18. 

“This is a tragic, shameful and entirely avoidable anniversary,” Markus Potzel, acting head of the United Nations Assistance Mission, said on Sunday. in Afghanistan (Manua) in a statement. 

“The continued exclusion of girls from secondary school has no credible justification and has no equivalent anywhere in the world. It is deeply damaging to a generation of girls and to the future of Afghanistan,” he added. 

“The denial of education violates the most fundamental human rights of girls and women. It increases the risk of marginalization, violence, exploitation and abuse…”, insisted the press release of Manua.  

“It is incumbent on the Taliban to create conditions conducive to peace, inclusion, security, human rights and economic recovery. The international community remains ready to support a government that is representative of the entire population and that respects their rights,” he concluded. 

Since their return to power, the Taliban have imposed very strict rules on the conduct of women, especially in public life. In addition to closing secondary schools, Islamist fundamentalists have barred women from many government jobs. They also ordered them to cover themselves fully in public, ideally with a burqa.