Conflict curbing girls’ access to education, says UNAMA
KABUL (Pajhwok):The ongoing conflict continues to severely restrict access to education for women and girls in the country, where approximately 210 schools have been closed due to conflict, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Wednesday.
The schools’ closure is affecting access to education for more than 20,500 girls, according to the UN mission, which said direct threats from armed opposition groups against schooling for girls had hit approximately 17,000 female students.
A statement from UNAMA on the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence said Afghanistan’s eastern region remained the most acutely affected, whereby at least 13,000 girls no longer go to school due to threats, closures and direct attacks.
This year the 16 Days of Activism stresses the theme: “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All”. The global campaign emphasises the critical need for peace, through safe and quality education for all, and as a result works towards ending violence against women and girls.
“Across the world, violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent, yet one of the most silenced realities,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the secretary-general’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA.
The diplomat noted some horrific incidents of violence against Afghan women this year and unprecedented collective action as people from different walks of life had come forward in solidarity to demand justice for the victims.
Despite the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in March 2003 and many progressive actions since then, Afghanistan needs to do more to preventand respond to violence against females.
“For violence against women and girls to be put behind us, it is essential that the government and people of Afghanistan, in partnership with the international community, work together in support of each other to live up to the guarantees in the Constitution,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, UN Women’s country representative.
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