Exclusion Of Afghan Girls From High Schools ‘Shameful’, Says UN

The United Nations has called for Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to reopen high schools to girls, calling the anniversary of their exclusion “shameful”.

The UN said it is increasingly concerned that the policy, together with other restrictions on basic freedoms, will contribute to a deepening of the country’s economic crisis in the form of greater insecurity, poverty and isolation.

“This is a tragic, shameful and entirely avoidable anniversary,” said Markus Potzel, acting head of the UN mission in Afghanistan.

A year after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, hard-liners appear to hold sway in the Taliban-led government.

The ongoing exclusion of girls from high school has no credible justification and has no parallel anywhere in the world
Teenage girls are still barred from school and women are required to cover themselves from head to toe in public, with only their eyes showing.

The religious group has failed to deliver on various promises to enable girls’ return to the classroom.

The ban primarily impacts girls aged 12 to 18.

The Taliban reopened high schools to boys while instructing girls to remain at home.

The UN estimates that more than a million girls have been barred from attending high school over the past year.

“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 to the future of Afghanistan itself,” said Mr Potzel, who is also the UN secretary-general’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan.

To mark the Sunday anniversary, 50 girls sent a letter entitled: A Year of Darkness: A Letter from Afghan girls to heads of Muslim countries and other world leaders.