KABUL: On the first anniversary of the Afghan girls’ exclusion from high schools on Sunday (September 18), the United Nations reiterated its call for girls’ access to education, calling on the Taliban to take urgent measures to reopen high schools for all.
“This is a tragic, shameful, and entirely avoidable anniversary,” said Markus Potzel, the acting head of UNAMA, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
“The ongoing exclusion of girls from high school has no credible justification and has no parallel anywhere in the world. It is profoundly damaging to a generation of girls and the future of Afghanistan itself,” said the UN envoy, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Potzel visited a girls’ primary school in Kabul on Monday. Speaking with 6th graders, the acting heading of UNAMA pledged support to lift the Taliban ban on girls so they attend high school.
He promised the minor students that no girl in their class, nor anywhere in Afghanistan, would be denied education next year.
This comes as schools reopened to boys on September 18, 2021, but the Taliban ordered girls to remain at home. Over the past year, more than one million girls have been barred from attending high school. The Taliban have failed to deliver on various promises that they will enable their return to the classroom. The ban prevents girls from attending grades seven to twelve, primarily impacting girls aged between 12 and 18.