With the arrival of the International Day of the Girl Child, members of international organizations that support and advocate for children expressed serious concern over the conditions of girls in Afghanistan, saying that more than 2 million girls will be deprived of education if their schools remain shut in Afghanistan.
Afghan girls face mounting challenges as their access to education and healthcare facilities are limited.
“UNICEF will continue to advocate for the full realization of girls' and women’s rights in Afghanistan. UNICEF reiterates that women and girls are vital for the future of Afghanistan--their skills, their knowledge, their expertise are critical to ensure that the most vulnerable children in communities not only survive but also thrive, and to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future is possible for all.” said Salam Al-Janabi, a communications specialist at UNICEF.
According to reports, more than 50% of Afghan girls do not have access even to primary education.
“Now, girls are in living in a very bad condition in Afghanistan. They do not have the right to work and be educated. They face an uncertain future if this situation continues,” said Zarqa Yaftali, head of the Women and Children Legal Research Foundation.
At the same time, the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who received the inaugural Women for Peace and Security Award from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, made comments specifically about Afghan women, saying that NATO's presence in Afghanistan had ensured that a whole generation--and specifically of women and girls--had received an education. "We cannot let that go, slip away. We must keep our focus there, keep these women close to our hearts," she said.
Today, October 11, is the International Day of the Girl Child, which is globally-observed every year across the world. It has been declared by the United Nations to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of women and girls’ rights.