UN says Taliban to announce plans for girls' education 'soon'
UNITED NATIONS, United States, Oct 16, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - The Taliban will
announce a framework that allows girls to attend school in Afghanistan
"soon," a senior United Nations official said, after four weeks in which
Afghan boys have been allowed a secondary education but girls have not.
"The de facto minister of education told us that they are working on a
framework, which they will announce soon, that will allow all girls to go to
secondary school, and we are expecting that to happen very soon," UNICEF
deputy executive director Omar Abdi said at the United Nations in New York on
For weeks now the Taliban have been saying that they will allow girls to
return to school as soon as possible.
The Islamist group, notorious for its brutal and oppressive rule from 1996
to 2001, has faced international fury after effectively excluding women and
girls from schools and work across the country, while incrementally stripping
away Afghans' freedoms.
The Taliban permitted girls to attend primary school from the start, but
have maintained that neither the girls nor their female teachers could return
to secondary school yet.
Taliban officials have said that can happen only once the girls' security
and strict gender segregation can be ensured under the group's restrictive
interpretation of sharia law, adding that more time is needed to put this
framework in place.
Abdi noted that, as he spoke, "millions of girls of secondary school age
are missing out on education for the 27th consecutive day."
He said the UN has urged the Taliban authorities now governing Afghanistan
"not to wait" on educating girls.
Abdi said he had visited Afghanistan the week before and met with Taliban
"In all my meetings, the education of girls was the first issue that I
He said he had received "affirmations" of the Taliban's commitments to
allow girls to attend primary school.
As for secondary school, he said they were allowed "only in five
provinces," but added that the UN is pushing for the right to be implemented
throughout the country.
A 14-year-old girl identified as Asma this week expressed both her
frustration with the situation and her determination to pursue an education.
"Will I be able to go to school or not? This is my biggest concern. I want
to learn everything, from the easiest to the hardest subjects. I want to be
an astronaut, or an engineer or architect... This is my dream," she told
"Education is not a crime," she added. "If the Taliban announce that
getting an education is a crime, then we will commit this crime. We will not