Girls’ Higher Education is a Must for Afghanistan Future

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  • World Vision is deeply concerned at the reversal of the Taliban’s commitment to allowing children regardless of their agenda to attend school.
  • Education is a fundamental right for children including adolescent girls, which must be upheld.
  • World Vision is committed to promoting education for all children in Afghanistan and to this end appeal to those in authority not to deprive girls of their rights to education.
  • World Vision calls on the international community to make the girls’ education a key condition in their engagement in Afghanistan.
Girls’ Higher Education is a Must for Afghanistan Future
Secondary school-aged girls across Afghanistan are today reeling from the shock of being banned from returning to class

HERAT (March 24, 2022) – Secondary school-aged girls across Afghanistan are today reeling from the shock of being banned from returning to class, even though thousands of them were already going to school, says international humanitarian agency, World Vision.

The nationwide ban was suddenly enforced yesterday by the Taliban impacting all secondary-aged girls across the country. It means that in provinces where girls were already permitted to attend secondary schools – as well as other provinces where they were expecting to return to school for the first time after the winter break – girls are banned from the classroom.

Asuntha Charles, World Vision’s national director in Afghanistan, said: “This is absolutely heartbreaking for girls. Girls were either expecting to return to secondary school after the winter break or hoping to go for the first time since the Taliban control of the country last August. But suddenly all secondary school girls were told they could not attend. We urge the country’s leaders to swiftly reverse this decision and treat girls like their brothers who are all allowed to attend school.”

In recent months, the Ministry of Education had stated that all girls and boys would be returning to school on March 23, 2022. But the decision was reversed, and many girls only found out upon arriving at their schools.

“It’s a basic human right for girls to attend school and one that the international humanitarian community will continue to press the authorities to implement,” Charles said.

She said that prior to the decision to bar girls from sixth grade and above, provinces had a varied approach to girls’ secondary education, with most provinces where World Vision works in the west of the country, permitting it.

She said she had met numerous girls who wanted to be doctors, teachers and leaders as well as educators who wanted to contribute to the development of Afghanistan. Many families had made immense sacrifices to ensure their daughters attended school when otherwise they might be laboring or married off as children or confined to home and managing the household.

Before the Taliban came to power, the country had made significant advances in educating girls. Four in 10 girls were in primary school, up from almost zero 20 years before.

In 2018, 380,000 students were enrolled in higher education. Of these, 90,000 were girls. In 2001, only around 5,000 girls were in higher education.1

About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.