UN Denounces Exclusion of Afghan Girls from School

The UN said on Sunday that it is increasingly concerned about the exclusion of Afghan girls from high school, which it condemned as "shameful," and called for the Taliban to reopen said schools.

UN Denounces Exclusion of Afghan Girls from School
Image credit: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • The UN said on Sunday that it is increasingly concerned about the exclusion of Afghan girls from high school, which it condemned as "shameful," and called for the Taliban to reopen said schools.
  • This comes a year after the Taliban reopened high schools only for boys, a move that Markus Potzel, the acting head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), deemed "profoundly damaging to a generation of girls and to the future of Afghanistan itself."
  • Following the US withdrawal and the Taliban's capturing of the country, more than 1M Afghan girls are believed to have been barred from school and women are required to cover themselves from head to toe in public, with only their eyes showing.
  • Taliban officials have claimed the ban is only temporary, giving several excuses for the closures — from a lack of funds to time needed to remodel the syllabus along Islamic lines.
  • Earlier this month, Afghanistan's education minister, Noorullah Munir, stated to local media that many rural people didn't want their teenage daughters to attend school.
  • Five girls' schools in eastern Afghanistan's Paktia province have reportedly been closed over the past weeks as they were operating without formal permission from the education ministry.

Sources: Al Jazeera, France24, Arab, and Guardian.

Narratives

  • Republican narrative, as provided by The Spectator. The current attacks on women's rights in Afghanistan are a direct result of the Biden administration's decision to withdraw from the country. His administration may pontificate about women's rights, but it has no way of enforcing them without troops on the ground.
  • Democratic narrative, as provided by Vox. While US involvement in Afghanistan saw significant gains for women's rights, the fact that Afghan security forces collapsed so quickly following its withdrawal indicates that the yields weren't sustainable without indefinite US presence, which itself wasn't sustainable or realistic.

Predictions