Ban on women's education is a colossal act of self-harm
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UN experts: Taliban have no justification to deny women’s right to education

A group of the United Nations experts, including its Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan Richard Bennet, have called for the immediate reversal of the Taliban’s bans on women’s education arguing that the group has no justification to deny women’s rights to education.

“The Taliban de facto authorities have no justification to deny the right to education, on any grounds, including religion or tradition,” they said in a statement issued on the eve of Nawroz, the 1402 New Year in solar hijri calendar. As a state party to the UN human rights treaties, the experts reiterated, Afghanistan was obliged to respect, protect, and fulfill the women’s rights to education irrespective of who was in power.

The UN experts added that there was no change in the Taliban’s current treatment of women from 1996-2001 when the group first ruled Afghanistan. “Both times, the ban on girls’ education was introduced as a temporary measure,” they highlighted, adding that it must be concluded that the Taliban do not have intention to reopen schools and universities for girls unless they reverse the bans immediately.

According to the UN experts, the Taliban’s bans have had “enormous consequences” including increase in child marriages and child labors for girls in Afghanistan.

Even if the ban is reversed, the UN experts expressed concern over the quality of education for boys and girls as they have already received reports that the Taliban have replaced professional teachers in boys schools with religious teachers and brough changes in the school curricula.

Moreover, they called on the international community to intensify calls on the Taliban to reverse bans on women’s education.