UNICEF Ireland deeply concerned at reported Taliban decision to extend ban on girls returning to secondary education in Afghanistan

23rd March 2022

STATEMENT

UNICEF Ireland deeply concerned at reported Taliban decision to extend ban on girls returning to secondary education in Afghanistan

Statement can be attributed to UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power

Download photos and b-roll from Afghanistan here

DUBLIN, 23 March 2022: “UNICEF Ireland is deeply concerned at the reported Taliban decision to extend the ban on girls returning to secondary education in Afghanistan. Every girl in the world has a right to an education. For 186 days, since the Taliban takeover, girls in Afghanistan have been denied this right. Today’s reported decision by the Taliban to extend the ban on female students above 6th grade from returning to school is deplorable.

“Girls in Afghanistan must not be denied their right to an education any longer. Having recently travelled to Afghanistan and visited a girls’ primary school, I witnessed first-hand the enthusiasm and joy that an education brings to Afghan girls. Many of the girls we met walked from kilometres away to join their classmates and told us how much an education meant to them. The devastating news that this passion and desire to learn may be extinguished when girls reach the age for secondary school is utterly shocking.

“Not only do all girls have a right to an education, but in practical terms, we also know that girls who get access to an education are less likely to marry young, more likely to lead healthy, productive lives and fulfil their potential. We know that an education for girls leads to higher incomes, better participation in community decisions, and more positive futures for themselves and their families.

“Schools are more than buildings where children learn; they are safe spaces that nurture and protect children from the physical dangers around them – including abuse and exploitation. Schools offer hope to each and every child and that is something every girl and boy in Afghanistan needs more than ever right now.

“Allowing girls back to secondary school is the right thing to do for the future of Afghanistan. It is the right thing to do for communities and families. And most importantly, it is the right thing to do for each and every girl in Afghanistan.”

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ENDS

Notes to Editor 

Download photos and broll from Afghanistan here

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For more information, please contact:

Danny Smits, UNICEF Ireland, +353 87 1308070, danny@unicef.ie