UNICEF urges Taliban to allow girls return to school

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Marking 1,000 days since girls in Afghanistan were banned from secondary school, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF has urged the Taliban to allow girls to go back to school.

“For 1.5 million girls, this systematic exclusion is not only a blatant violation of their right to education, but also results in dwindling opportunities and deteriorating mental health,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement emphasised the far-reaching consequences of the ban, extending beyond the immediate loss of education.

“It exacerbates the ongoing humanitarian crisis and has serious ramifications for Afghanistan’s economy and development trajectory,” the statement added.

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Russell appealed for the return of girls to schools, pointing to the fact that no country could move forward when half its population was left behind.

“I urge the de facto authorities to allow all children to resume learning immediately. And I urge the international community to remain engaged and support these girls, who need us more than ever.”

Since returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban has banned girls and women from studying beyond primary school.

However, in some parts of the country, women and girls still attend religious schools, as well as midwifery and nursing schools.

The Taliban government is not recognised internationally.  (dpa/NAN)

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