US Special Envoy Thomas West on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, said that the restrictions imposed on Afghan women and girls affect their families the most.
Speaking at the Global Solidarity with Afghan Women and Girls, West said “As we engage with the Taliban, we need to keep women and girls’ issues front and center.”
“As we engage with the Taliban, we need to keep women and girls’ issues front and center when we talk about other things --- it is their families that are bearing the brunt of that dislocation,” West noted.
Lana Wreikat, Deputy Director of UNICEF Emergency Operations and Programmes of UNICEF, said at the event that the restrictions on girls and women in Afghanistan are unacceptable.
“Girls in Afghanistan have been denied their right to secondary education for two years now. The impact of this ban with the unacceptable rollback of women’s and girls’ rights restricting their freedom to move to engage in public life and to access health and social services are taking an immense toll on their learning and their physical and mental health," Wreikat said.
Mélanie Joly, Foreign Minister of Canada, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, said that “the Taliban's attempt to erase women and girls from public life is devastating for girls who cannot attend school past grade six, making them more likely to become child brides, devastating for the economy which will only further deteriorate as half its population is squeezed out of the economic activity and devastating for the future of countless women and girls who find little hope in Afghanistan’s future which looks more and more like the past.”
“We must not forget that over hundred thousand women have been forced to abandon their university studies in Afghanistan --- so I ask everyone here today to prioritize as much as possible, with all the tools we have, the education of girls and women of Afghanistan,” said Stefania Giannini, assistant director general for education at UNESCO.
Nearly seven hundred and thirty days have passed since schools were closed and nearly nine months since universities were closed to girls in Afghanistan, but the Islamic Emirate has repeatedly said that this issue is not permanent, and they are trying to solve it.