KABUL – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres marked a somber milestone on Monday, September 18, as it has been two years since girls in Afghanistan were prohibited from attending high school. In a post, he denounced this as an indefensible violation of human rights that has inflicted enduring harm on the entire nation.
Guterres emphatically asserted, “Girls belong in school,” and implored the Taliban to reconsider their stance and allow girls to resume their education. The Taliban’s ban on girls attending secondary schools, implemented two years ago, has had the dire consequence of keeping more than 1.1 million children out of school.
While the Taliban has stated its intent to introduce a new mechanism for the return of girls to schools, no tangible progress has been made in this regard thus far. Furthermore, last December, female students were barred from attending universities. As a result, the Taliban also restricted women from working in non-governmental organizations and from participating in university entrance exams earlier this year. The international community continues to watch closely, hoping for a positive shift in this critical issue.