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On world Education Day, the Women@PACE group expresses solidarity with women and girls in Afghanistan

PACE Secretary General at the Women@PACE meeting during the Parliamentary Assembly Session, January 2023

To mark World Education Day (24 January), the Women@PACE group today expressed its solidarity with women and girls in Afghanistan who are barred from receiving an education.

“Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, the situation of women and girls in the country has severely deteriorated. Afghan women are being banned from working outside their home and from attending education beyond the sixth grade, their right to political participation is denied, as well as their social, economic, and cultural rights.

This unacceptable situation must end. No other country in the world bars women and girls from attending schools. Education is a universal human right and, as such, must be fully respected.

We demand that the decision to close schools for women and girls across Afghanistan be reversed and the right to education for all be ensured. When women are not safe there can be no peace, stability, freedom or economic development. Education is essential as the foundation of this stability.

On 15 January, former Afghan parliamentarian and activist, Mursal Nabizada, was brutally killed outside her home. Despite threats, she had decided to stay in the country after the Taliban takeover because she wanted to continue to serve her people. She spoke up courageously against the ban on women’s education.

We must take action to ensure that her words, and the voices of hundreds of women and girls in Afghanistan, are not silenced or forgotten. They have the right to live in freedom, the right to education, the right to work and the right to make their own decisions about their lives. They can count on our support to make their voices better heard and their rights protected.”