27 Countries Call on Taliban to Reverse Ban on Girl’s Education
A total of 27 countries issued a joint-statement calling on the Taliban to reverse the ban on girls’ secondary education in Afghanistan. These countries have come together in a group titled Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan and made this call on Wednesday, October 19.
The Group’s members are United Kingdom, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Chad, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Expressing “deep concern” over the erosion of respect for women’s rights by the Taliban, the Group’s members stated that the Taliban’s decision to exclude girls from schools does not reflect the wishes and demands of the majority of the Afghan people.
“The members call on the Taliban to immediately reverse the effective ban on girls’ secondary education in Afghanistan, which has been in place for over one year,” the Group noted in the statement.
The members of the Group also warned that disruption of access to education, particularly for girls, will make them more vulnerable and will have long-term consequences for durable peace, security, and development.
“Furthermore, they emphasize findings by the World Economic Forum that banning women from working in the government and formal sectors will cause Afghanistan’s GDP to contract by a minimum of $600 million in the immediate term, and restrictions on women’s private sector employment could lead to a $1.5 billion loss of output by 2024,” part of the statement reads.
The Group also requested the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to continue to closely monitor and report on the situation.
It further urged the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to continue to engage with all relevant Afghan political actors and stakeholders, including relevant authorities, on this issue.