The Taliban’s decision to ban girls from pursuing higher education has drawn worldwide reactions and call for its reversal. The UN, Human Rights Watch, the United States, the UK, Germany, Save the Children, and many more have all condemned the Taliban’s cabinet decision.
Ned Price, the spokesperson of the United States Department of State in a press briefing said that the US condemns in the strongest terms the Taliban’s “indefensible decision” to ban women from universities.
He added that the group since their return kept the secondary schools closed for the girls and continued to impose other restrictions on the ability of women and girls in Afghanistan to exercise their human rights and their fundamental freedoms.
Ned Price emphasized that the Taliban’s decision to keep secondary schools closed since the last march had a significant impact on the engagement between the US representatives and the Taliban.
Referring to the Taliban’s newest ban on women, Ned Price stated that with the implementation of the ban, half of the Afghan population will soon be unable to access education beyond primary school.
Ned Price stressed that the Taliban have permanently sentenced Afghan women to a darker and more barren future without opportunity and he added that no country can thrive when half of the population is held back.
Education is an internationally recognized human right and it is essential to Afghanistan’s economic growth and stability, stressed Ned Price in his briefing.
“This unacceptable stance will have significant consequences for the Taliban and will further alienate the Taliban from the international community and deny them the legitimacy they desire,” he warned.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called the Taliban’s decision “shameful” as it violates the right to education for women and girls in Afghanistan.
HWR stressed that the Taliban are making it clear every day that they don’t respect the fundamental rights of Afghans, especially women.
The United Nations and its subordinate agencies have also reacted strongly to this ban imposed on women’s education in Afghanistan.
United Nations for Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has reacted to the recent Taliban decision.
Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General has said that the Secretary-General is deeply alarmed by news reports that the Taliban have suspended access to universities for women and girls.
The spokesperson added that Secretary-General reiterates that the denial of education not only violates the equal rights of women and girls but will have a devastating impact on the country’s future.
The Secretary-General urges the de facto authorities to ensure equal access to education at all levels for women and girls, added the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.
The United Nations Organization for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has reacted to the Taliban’s decision and said that education is both a right and an investment in a country’s future.
In a Twitter thread, the UN Women said that all women and girls must be able to resume their education in Afghanistan.
The UK’s Minister of State Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs Lord Tariq Ahmad said that he is “appalled” by the recent decision of the Taliban cabinet.
There is no religious or moral basis for such violations of educational rights, he stressed. The UK’s minister added that the decision will further undermine Afghanistan’s fragile economy and security.
The German Embassy for Afghanistan reacted to the decision and called it “disrupting”.
“This is a blow for all Afghan women who want to attend universities and have career perspectives”, stressed the Germany Embassy in Afghanistan.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Afghanistan Richard Bennett has said that the Taliban’s decision marks a new low further violating the right to equal education. In addition, it deepens the erasure of women from Afghan society.
Richard Bennett called on the Taliban de facto authorities to immediately reverse the decision and let Afghan girls learn.
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West has said that the world must unite and oppose these policies in the strongest terms. “We must stand with Afghan women”, he stated in a Twitter thread. Thomas West has also said that his thoughts are with the sisters, daughters, and mothers seeking education to support their families and fulfill their dreams.
Country Director at Save the Children International Christopher Nyamandi reacted to the Taliban’s decision and said he is ‘shocked’ and ‘sad’ to learn about it. “In all our dialogue with the various senior Taliban officials, we have received assurances that women and girls will be accorded their rights, especially to education”, added Christopher Nyamandi on his LinkedIn page.
The former Director of the National Directorate of Security, Rahmatullah Nabil has reacted to the Taliban’s recent decision. He said that education helps intellectual growth and the spirit of freedom in society. He stressed that the Taliban, for their survival, have to keep society in the dark because they believe that their survival depends on the ignorance of the young generation.
In an official letter sent to state and private universities, the Taliban Ministry of Higher Education has indefinitely banned higher education for female students. Higher education is “suspended” for female students until further notice, the letter reads.
The Taliban Ministry of Higher Education issued the letter on Tuesday, December 20. In the letter, it is stated that the decision to suspend higher education for girls is taken by the Taliban cabinet.