The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has requested the Taliban to lift its ban on Afghan girls attending school. This comes after reports that the Taliban has been prohibiting girls from attending school in areas of Afghanistan under their control.
Guterres said in a statement that he was “deeply disturbed” by the reports and that the ban was a “grave violation of human rights and must be immediately reversed”. He added that education is a fundamental right for all children and that the Taliban should “respect and protect the right of all girls and boys to attend school”.
Guterres also called on all parties to “ensure that all children in Afghanistan – girls and boys – have access to quality, safe, and inclusive education”. He noted that this was an “essential part of building a peaceful, prosperous and secure future for the country”.
The United Nations has been working with the Afghan government and other partners to improve access to education for children in the country. In April, it launched the ‘Education Cannot Wait’ initiative, which aims to provide education to 13 million children affected by conflicts and disasters around the world.