Unesco dedicates International Day of Education to Afghan girls

Girls arrive at their school in Kabul on March 23, 2022.  The Taliban ordered girls' secondary schools in Afghanistan to shut on March 23, just hours after they reopened, sparking confusion and heartbreak over the policy reversal by the hardline Islamist group. 

Photo credit: Photo | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Unesco says it would use the January 24 (today’s), event to renew its call to the Taliban authorities to restore Afghan women's and girls' “fundamental right to education”.
  • Organisation hopes to continue providing distance education to the women and girls through Afghan media outlets, especially radio stations, owing to its accessibility to more than two-thirds of the population.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has dedicated the International Day of Education marked today to Afghan girls and women.

Unesco Director General Audrey Azoulay, said in a statement that the agency would use the January 24 (today’s), event to renew its call to the Taliban authorities to immediately restore the Afghan women's and girls' “fundamental right to education”.

The education ban imposed by the extremist rulers has meant that 2.5 million school-aged Afghan girls and young women cannot attend school with an additional 1.2 million excluded from secondary school and university education.

Ms Azoulay said: “Nothing can replace the classroom, which is a place of social integration, where people learn to live together, where students and teachers take part in the pedagogic process.”

“Therefore, Unesco and its Member States will also continue their advocacy to put the right to education of Afghan girls and women at the top of the international agenda,” she said in a statement on the eve on the international day, which draws the world’s attention to the progress made in bridging the gender gaps in the education sector.

Radio stations

She warned that the radical decisions by the Taliban authorities would wipe out the development gains made by the country over the past 20 years.

“From 2001 to 2021, Afghanistan saw a tenfold increase in enrolment at all education levels from around 1 million students to around 10 million, with the support of the international community, including Unesco,” she said.

Unesco hopes to continue providing distance education to the women and girls through Afghan media outlets, especially radio stations, owing to its accessibility to more than two-thirds of the population.

“Every day without education hinders progress made since 2001,” emphasised Ms Azoulay.


Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.