NEW YORK: As the world marks the second anniversary of the Taliban’s ‘fatwa’ banning secondary education for girls in Afghanistan, the head of the UN fund for education in emergencies, Yasmine Sherif, has called upon the international community to ensure that every girl in Afghanistan has the opportunity to receive an education.
Sherif, the Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), emphasized that denying education to girls is a violation of universal human rights and urged the de facto authorities in Afghanistan to take action to rectify the situation.
Currently, a staggering 80 percent of school-age Afghan girls are not attending school, equating to 2.5 million girls being denied their fundamental right to education, safety, and opportunity.
ECW has shown solidarity with the courageous girls in Afghanistan who are bravely advocating for their right to education. The fund recently launched the #AfghanGirlsVoices campaign, which will keep the issue in the spotlight throughout the year.
Sherif emphasized the importance of ensuring that every girl in Afghanistan has access to quality education, enabling them to emerge from the shadows and contribute to a brighter future for their country.
ECW is running a multi-year resilience program in Afghanistan, aimed at supporting over 250,000 children and young people in remote and underserved areas of the country. However, the fund has appealed for urgent additional funding to address a $30 million shortfall required for the full implementation of the program. Additionally, ECW seeks $670 million to fully finance a new strategic plan, with the goal of reaching 20 million crisis-affected children worldwide over the next three years. —APP