“The de facto authorities’ failure to adhere to commitments to reopen schools for girls above the sixth grade – in spite of repeated commitments towards girls’ education, including during my visit to Kabul two weeks ago – is deeply damaging for Afghanistan”, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.
Although high schools were set to open their doors to girls nationwide, Taliban authorities reportedly reversed the move early on Wednesday, pending a ruling made on the uniforms they must wear.
“The denial of education violates the human rights of women and girls – beyond their equal right to education, it leaves them more exposed to violence, poverty and exploitation,” Ms. Bachelet explained.
The UN Secretary-General said in a statement later in the day, that he deeply regretted the Taliban's suspension of the return to school for high school girls.
"The start of the new school year has been anticipated by all students, girls and boys, and parents and families", said António Guterres. He added that the Taliban move "despite repeated commitments, is a profound disappointment and deeply damaging for Afghanistan.
The denial of education not only violates the equal rights of women and girls to education, it also jeopardizes the country’s future in view of the tremendous contributions by Afghan women and girls.
"I urge the Taliban de facto authorities to open schools for all students without any further delay."
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