One month ago, the Taliban shut school gates for millions of Afghan girls — robbing them of not just an education but also their futures.
Afghanistan is now the only country in the world that forbids girls’ education. Leaders everywhere must take urgent, decisive action to get every Afghan girl back in school.
● To the Taliban authorities, you assured the world that you would respect the rights of girls and women — but you are denying millions their right to learn. Reverse the de facto ban on girls’ education and re-open girls’ secondary schools immediately.
● To the leaders of the G20 nations, discussing the importance of education isn’t enough. Use the G20 Leaders’ Declaration to call on the Taliban to allow girls to go to school and provide urgent funding to support a coordinated education plan for all Afghan children.
● To the leaders of Muslim countries, religion does not justify preventing girls from going to school. Make this clear to Taliban leaders by issuing public statements on the Islamic imperative for girls’ complete education.
The longer a girl stays out of school, the less likely she is to return. Join us in calling on leaders around the world to defend Afghan girls’ right to learn and lead.
Zarqa Yaftali, Malala Yousafzai, Shaharzad Akbar
Editor’s note: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and women’s rights advocates Zarqa Yaftali and Shaharzad Akbar’s open letter was originally published on Avaaz, a global activist network and platform. The open letter has garnered over one million signatures worldwide.
To stand with Afghan girls, join in with signing the open letter here.