World reacts to restrictions on girls’ education at school year start

KABUL (TOLOnews): The continued ban of girls from education in Afghanistan in the new solar year has sparked a number of reactions throughout the world.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that preventing girls from learning will also have far-reaching consequences for the country’s economy and health system.
The US and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called women and girls’ lack of access to education discriminatory and added that this will have a negative effect on the relations of the Islamic Emirate with the world.
“In a statement, the UN Children’s Fund Executive Director Catherine Russell stressed that girls and adolescents including those with disabilities have the right to an education. She warned that preventing girls from learning will also have far-reaching consequences for the country’s economy and health system,” Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, told a press briefing.
Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), said “the denial of a secondary school education, and then of access to university, is manifestly discriminatory, profoundly distressing for girls and women.”
According to Hurtado, the decision to deny girls and women their right to an education exposes them to violence, poverty and exploitation.
“The de facto authorities have pledged that all women and girls will be allowed to go to school. Our Office urges that they honour this promise, without delay,” Hurtado added.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that the current government of Afghanistan will not stop violating human rights and depriving girls of access to education, it is not possible to normalize relations with them.
“I think it’s safe to say from conversations with countries around the world that to the extent the Taliban is looking for more normal relations with countries around the world, that will not happen so long as they continue to advance these repressive edicts against women and girls,” Blinken said.
With the start of the new academic year, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan once again asked the current government to review all discriminatory policies against women and girls.
“As the new Afghan school year starts this week more than a million Afghan girls will be barred from attending classes. UNAMA reiterates its call to de facto authorities to reverse all discriminatory policies against women and girls. They not only impede the aspirations of half of the population but are causing great damage to Afghanistan,” UNAMA tweeted.
“We hope that orders and regulations will be followed in society, and that discrimination against boys and girls will end,” said Soraya Paikan, a women’s rights activist.
Meanwhile, the UN Women in Afghanistan said in a tweet: “As a new school year begins, Afghan girls are denied their basic right to education for the second year in a row. An act shattering the dreams and hopes of millions of girls and condemning Afghanistan to further poverty and loss.”