EU calls on Taliban regime to reopen schools for girls
The EU on Monday called on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to immediately reopen secondary schools for girls.
In a declaration issued on behalf of the bloc, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned the Taliban’s decision to exclude over 1 million girls from secondary education in the country.
“No religious or social reason could ever justify such unequal treatment,” Borrell stressed, calling the move a “blatant violation of the fundamental right to education for all children.”
He reminded that the decision backtracks from the previous commitments of the Taliban regime, and undermines their “chances to gain domestic legitimacy” as well as “credibility in the eyes of international partners.”
He warns that EU aid for Afghanistan has been, among others, conditioned to ensure women’s rights and equal access to education, and the current “decision unless urgently reversed, will have far-reaching implications.”
“Girls’ education is necessary for women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in the Afghan society,” Borrell asserted, reassuring Afghan women of the EU’s unwavering support.
Schools reopened on Wednesday in Afghanistan after nearly seven months of break, but girls above the sixth grade were told to stay at home.
In October, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, announced a €1 billion ($1.1 billion) aid package to be distributed directly to the Afghan people with the help of UN agencies.
The EU has stressed that the aid is dedicated to the Afghan people in need and insisted on its five-benchmark policy as a pre-condition to engage with the Taliban administration without recognizing the government.
These conditions require the fight against international terrorism, respect for human rights, especially women’s rights, the establishment of an inclusive and representative government, free access to humanitarian aid, and granting free departure for foreign citizens and Afghans at risk.