UN Chief Urges Taliban to Reverse Ban on Education of Afghan Girls on International Day of Education


Last Updated: January 25, 2023, 09:42 IST

Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres. (Image: Reuters)

Guterres said that now is the time for all countries to ensure taking actual steps to develop welcoming and inclusive learning environments for all

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on the Taliban in Afghanistan to reverse the ban on girlsโ€™ access to secondary and higher education.

Guterres, on the occasion of International Day of Education, said that now is the time for all the countries to ensure taking actual steps to develop welcoming and inclusive learning environments for all, ANI reported.

โ€œNow is also the time to end all discriminatory laws and practices that hinder access to education. I call on the de facto authorities in Afghanistan in particular to reverse the outrageous and self-defeating ban on access to secondary and higher education for girls,” UN Secretary-General spokesperson said in a release.

The Taliban have already suspended university education for women and secondary schooling for girls.

โ€œNow is the time to end all discriminatory laws and practices that hinder access to education,” Guterres said in a tweet.

The theme of this yearโ€™s International Day of Education reminds us โ€œto invest in people, prioritize education,” the official statement of the UN said.

According to UNESCO, around 80 per cent of school-aged Afghan girls and young women are currently out of school under the Taliban rule, as they denied them access to secondary schools and universities.

Earlier, the UN Security Council had called on the Taliban to reverse policies targeting women and girls in Afghanistan, expressing alarm at the โ€œincreasing erosion” of human rights in the country.

They urged the Taliban โ€œto reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which represents an increasing erosion for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The international community has made respecting womenโ€™s rights a sticking point in negotiations with the Taliban government for its recognition and the restoration of aid.

Women have also been pushed out of many government jobs, prevented from travelling without a male relative and ordered to cover up outside of the home, ideally with a burqa, and not allowed into parks.

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