NAIROBI, Sep 18 (IPS) – A Taliban edict turns back time in Afghanistan after indefinitely suspending access to education for all Afghan girls over the age of 12 on September 18, 2021. Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are prohibited from attending school beyond primary education, leaving more than 1.1 million girls and young women without access to formal education.
With an estimated 80 percent of school-aged Afghan girls and young women dropping out of school in the blink of an eye, Afghanistan has gone back 20 years. As the gains made over the past two decades evaporate, Afghan girls are bravely breaking through the terrifying dark cloud of misogyny and gender persecution to tell the world about the injustice of being denied an education and their burning desire to return to school.
Yasmine Sherif, director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), said: “It is hard to think of anyone more left behind than the girls in Afghanistan, who are denied their most basic human rights, including their right to education. .
“We will continue to steadfastly advocate for the full resumption of their right to education in Afghanistan and work with our partners to provide Afghan children with critical learning opportunities through the community-based education programs we support.”
On the occasion of the tragic anniversary of the the facto In light of authorities’ unacceptable ban on education for secondary school girls in Afghanistan, ECW – the UN Global Fund for Education in Emergencies – has updated its compelling #AfghanGirlsVoices campaign with new multilingual content, including English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
The multilingual #AfghanGirlsVoices campaign aims to break language barriers so that more people in the global community can read inspiring, resilient and heartbreaking testimonies conveyed through moving artwork by a young Afghan female artist.
The girls want the world to know that they are at risk of missing out on lifelong learning and earning opportunities – and never gaining the skills needed to thrive and help build the stable and prosperous future they, their families and the people of Afghanistan deserve.
An entire generation of girls and young women could be lost – pushed out of public life, neither seen nor heard. The prospects of a bleak future have compromised their mental health.
First launched on August 15, 2023 – two years after the in fact The Taliban authorities took power in Afghanistan and subsequently banned girls’ access to secondary and tertiary education. The campaign was developed in collaboration with ECW World Champion Somaya Faruqi, former captain of the Afghan Girls’ Robotic Team.
The Taliban have implemented more than 20 written and oral decrees on girls’ education. With each new edict, restrictions on Afghan girls and young women’s right to education have become even more severe and severe. Nowadays, girls over the age of 10 are not allowed to go to school.
Before the indefinite suspension of university education for female students, they were not allowed to pursue certain majors in fields such as journalism, law, agriculture, veterinary medicine and economics.
The #AfghanGirlsVoices campaign seeks to bring to the attention of the global community what is at stake and why urgent action is needed to end the brutal suppression of education. Between 2001 and 2018, the country saw a tenfold increase in enrollment at all levels of education, from about 1 million students in 2001 to about 10 million in 2018.
“The number of girls in primary school has increased from almost zero in 2001 to 2.5 million in 2018. In August 2021, 4 in 10 primary school pupils were girls. The presence of women in Afghan higher education has increased almost twentyfold, from 5,000 female students in 2001 to more than 100,000 in 2021. The literacy rate of women has doubled in that period, from 17 percent of women being able to read in 2001 and write to 30 percent for everyone. age groups together,” said a recent UN report.
The girls’ powerful words are presented in striking illustrations that capture both the depth of despair these Afghan girls and young women experience, and their incredible resilience and strength in the face of this unacceptable ban on their education.
The timing of the campaign will elevate the voices of Afghan girls on the global stage as world leaders gather at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit on September 18-19 at the UN General Assembly in New York. The summit aims to mark the beginning of a new phase of accelerated progress towards the SDGs, with high-level political guidance on transformative and accelerated actions leading up to 2030 – progress that cannot be achieved if Afghan girls are left behind .
ECW has been supporting education in Afghanistan since 2017, first through a mix of formal and non-formal education and now exclusively through programming outside the formal education system. The ECW-supported Comprehensive Multi-Year Resilience Program (MYRP) in Afghanistan aims to support more than 250,000 children and adolescents in some of the most remote and disadvantaged areas of the country.
The program provides community-based education, organized at a local level with support from local communities, and is crucial to keeping education going. Girls account for more than half of all children and adolescents reached by MYRP. To access ECW’s social media kit in support of the #AfghanGirlsVoices campaign, click here.
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© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service