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Supporting Education for Girls and Women in Afghanistan

  • RESET

Category:

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Sub-Category:

Sub-Category: GENERAL

Resolution Number:

400.10.29

Club:

Online

Province:

Year:

2023

Status:

Open

Background:

After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, girl’s secondary education rates across Afghanistan rose from 6.3% (in 2003) to 40% (in 2018). Despite these rapid gains, in 2017, the Afghan government reported that 3.5 million children were out of school, with 85% being girls. For girls from low-income families, living in rural areas or with disabilities, even lower rates of school enrollment were reported. Social norms, tradition and religious beliefs encourage the early marriage of girls. In 2017, 35% of Afghan girls before the age of 18 and 10% before the age of 15 were forced into child marriage, accounting for another obstacle in obtaining an education (UNICEF & UNGEI, 2019). In many countries, it may be a combination of factors which leads to exclusion from education. While this is also true in Afghanistan, it is particularly one single factor—being female—which presents a formidable barrier. On August 15, 2021, Taliban leaders shut secondary schools for girls. On December 20, 2022, the Taliban further extended the education ban for girls and women by denying access to universities, making Afghanistan the only country in the world to prohibit education based solely on gender (OHCHR, 2022). Decades of research from around the world show that educating girls increases public health, boosts workforce participation, and reduces conflict. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child all name girls’ education as a fundamental human right. Both the Qur’an and Hadith—core Islamic texts—stipulate that girls should participate in education. Denying women and girls their right to an education will not only impact their mental health, but lead to significantly reduced economic opportunities, which will have an adverse impact on their families, communities, and the nation.

Comments:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) urges the Government of Canada and relevant ministries to advocate the United Nations to prioritize the education of girls and women in Afghanistan and to hold the current Afghanistan regime accountable for ensuring school curricula are inclusive and in compliance with international human rights laws; FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada and relevant ministries to insist that restoration of girls’ and women’s education in Afghanistan should be a precondition for foreign aid or removal of sanctions; and FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada and relevant ministries to collaborate with the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to adopt practical initiatives to assist Afghan girls and women in the immediate term by supporting regional countries to host female Afghan students and develop a digital learning platform for Afghan girls and women to access.

©BPW Canada  www.bpwcanada.com

Article ID: 13357