UN calls on Taliban to reopen girls´ schools closed a year ago in Afghanistan

The United Nations has again called on the Taliban authorities to take "urgent measures" to reopen secondary schools for girls in Afghanistan, saying that their closure a year ago was "shameful" and "unparalleled in the world".

"Sunday marks one year since girls were excluded from secondary schools in Afghanistan. A year of lost knowledge and opportunities they will never find. Girls have their place in school and the Taliban must allow them to return," UN Secretary-General António Guterres tweeted .

After seizing power in the summer of 2021, the Taliban banned girls from attending secondary school. 

On March 23, the attempt to reopen it only lasted a few hours, as the Taliban reversed their decision on the same day and again announced the closure of secondary schools, to the shock of thousands of girls who returned home in tears.

The Taliban announced at the time that the closure was due to "technical problems" and that lessons would be resumed with the issuance of a curriculum based on Islamic teachings.

"It was a dark year, a year full of tension and disappointment," an 18-year-old student told AFP, asking not to be named.

She added, "Society needs women doctors and teachers. Males alone cannot meet all the needs of society."

The United Nations asserts that "more than a million girls" between the ages of 12 and 18 were denied school attendance during the past year, unlike boys whose schools opened on September 18.

"This is a tragic, shameful and completely avoidable memory," Acting Head of the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan Markus Putzel said in a statement on Sunday.

"The continued exclusion of girls from secondary school has no reasonable justification and is unparalleled anywhere in the world. It seriously harms a generation of girls and the future of Afghanistan," he added.

Putzel emphasized that "the deprivation of education violates the basic rights of girls and women, and increases the risk of marginalization, violence, exploitation and abuse...".

"The Taliban has a responsibility to secure conditions conducive to peace, integration, security, human rights and economic recovery," he added.

 The international community remains ready to support a government that is representative of all residents and respects their rights." And the authorities announced last month the introduction of  compulsory

compulsory lessons devoted to religion in public universities.

girls' secondary schools were closed because "a large number of rural people do not want their girls to go to school."

On the other hand, the Sunday teacher AFP that parents and families across Afghanistan want to educate their daughters.

"They want their daughters to be able to achieve their goals, and every family wants their sons to be able to serve the nation, including the girls," stressed the teacher, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

Since their return to power, the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on girls and women, effectively removing them from public life.

Hardline Islamists have closed girls' high schools in most states and banned women from many government jobs. The hardline Islamist movement has ordered women to wear the headscarf outside, preferably the burqa.

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