Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion

Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion
Supporting WHRDs & progressive feminist movements in MENA & Asia.

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Femena Demands Action: UNAMA Must Address 1,000 Days of Taliban’s Ban on Girls’ Education

Today marks 1,000 days since the Taliban imposed a ban on girls’ secondary and higher education in Afghanistan. As a result, 1.5 million girls face a dark future with limited possibilities, often forced into marriages and terrible fates. But against all odds, the resilient women of Afghanistan continue to push back against this darkness. They are courageously holding secret classes in their homes to ensure that girls continue to learn. 

However, their fight is not easy. Femena has spoken to various secret school teachers across Afghanistan who have shared their struggles, from security concerns to the lack of basic resources such as stationery, supplies, and school books.

“I am Howaida. My secret school is inside my home in Kabul, and I have 50 students. I face many challenges doing what I do. Above all, I offer education for girls, something that is banned by the Taliban. I am always concerned for the safety of my students.

To keep moving forward, I depend on voluntary support from teachers because I have no financial resources. My students often lack sufficient stationery and supplies. Nonetheless, none of this will stop me. I am keeping hope alive for these girls.”

When the women of Afghanistan are doing everything they can, including risking their lives, the international community, especially the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), has a responsibility to do everything it can to protect the rights of girls to education.

To that end, we at Femena have one key demand to mark this dark day: UNAMA must utilize its political leverage and pressure the Taliban to reopen the schools now. Keeping girls out of schools is despicable, unacceptable, and inexcusable, robbing them of their fundamental right to education and impeding Afghanistan’s social and economic progress.