DON’T BE A SPECTATOR: Act In Solidarity with Afghan Women

DON’T BE A SPECTATOR
Support the Demands of the Women’s Advisory Group: Act In Solidarity with Afghan Women

With the two most recent, egregiously oppressive Taliban edicts against women, the world begins to take notice again of the grave situation of the whole Afghan nation. The plea from Sakena Yacobi that the world community take action to defend the fundamental human rights of all Afghans, is also made in demands issued by Negina Yari of the Women’s Advisory Group of The Humanitarian Country Team on behalf of all Afghan Women.

In this statement issued before the edict banning women from work in NGOs, Ms. Yari makes specific demands, each of which is integral to actions advocated by the Global Campaign for Peace Education and the International Institute on Peace Education:  1) recognize the human right to education with immediate overturn of the ban on women and girls attending universities and secondary schools; 2) the international community give voice in all fora and in interactions with “the de facto authorities” to the necessity of fulfilling this right; 3) and that all Muslim countries engage the “authorities” to remind them of the right to education integral to Islam, and that no other country denies education to women and girls.

The points made in the statement are consistent with GCPE/IIPE’s proposals that 1) all concerned world citizens express their support for the steps Negina Yari calls for to their own governments and civil society networks, as well as the UN Human Rights Council, UN Women and UNAMA, and to the Taliban. 2) Further we propose that Afghan funds held by the World Bank be transferred directly to the NGOs providing basic and essential services to the Afghan people. 3) Finally that peace educators in all Muslim countries include the study of the human rights of women in Islam in their curricula, and engage their fellow citizens in this vital discussion, as we all stand in solidarity with our Afghan sisters. (-BAR, 1-4-2023)

Statement of the Women Advisory Group the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) on the de facto Ministry of Higher Education’s Decision to Ban Women from attending university

Since August 2021, Afghan women have been facing widespread poverty, inequality and lack of access to basic rights including the right to education and work, increasing restrictions on their participation and access to humanitarian aid. After banning girls from schools above grade 6 in March 2022, which had an immediate impact on their mental health, opportunities, and protection, the De Facto Authorities announced on 20 December an indefinite ban on women attending universities.

This decision is shameful and shocking. Afghan women have been full members of the Afghan society and public life for the past twenty years in the social, political, and economic fields. Closing the university doors on them will have deep and long- term consequences not only on themselves but on the society, the economy and the country as a whole. This decision will further entrench gender inequalities and will limit women’s ability to work, including as part of the humanitarian response to reach affected women and girls.

Afghan women deserve a dignified life and the respect of their basic rights, including the right to education.

The world should not be a spectator of our situation. The women and girls of Afghanistan demand:

1. Education is our basic right and access to this right should not be taken away from women and girls. We request the De facto Ministry of Education to immediately overturn its decision and re-affirm women’s right to access universities.

2. We request the international community not to be silent but to carry our voices outside the country in all relevant forums and in any engagement they have with the De facto Authorities.

3. We request Islamic countries, and the international community at large, to meaningfully engage with the De facto Authorities to re-affirm girls and women’s education as a right under Islam, and remind them that no other country in the world bans girls from attending school and university.

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