Kabul: A mission of the UN Standing Committee to Afghanistan has reported positive signs concerning women’s rights in the country.
The mission was sent to Afghanistan last week to look into the effects of the ban on women education and work.
Omar Abdi, deputy executive director for programming of U.N. children’s agency UNICEF who was part of the delegation cited some positive signs and said that despite the ban on girls’ attending secondary schools, an estimated 200,000 girls continue to receive secondary education in around 12 provinces, and added that female secondary school teachers continue to receive their salaries in most provinces of Afghanistan.
He added that there are positive signs for the continuation of girls’ education, and said the officials in Kabul reaffirmed to them “that they are not against girls learning in secondary schools, and again promised to reopen once the guidelines are approved by their leader.”
This senior UN official added that the number of informal education classes in private homes and other public places has doubled to 20,000 classes in the past year, and about 600,000 children, of whom 55% are girls, are studying in these education centers.
Abdi clarified that these positive signs are the result of both the commitment of current Afghan authorities and pressure from local communities to keep schools and community schools open.