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Women and girls in Afghanistan deserve an education, they are owed a future.

Ottawa, August 15th, 2022: Today, marks one year since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, and the rights of women and girls remain in peril under that regime.

UN experts sounded the alarm, ‘Nowhere else in the world has there been as wide-spread, systematic and all-encompassing an attack on the rights of women and girls’[1]

When the former Afghan Government fell, the United Nations moved quickly to try to prevent a humanitarian crisis. In January, 2022 the UN concluded its negotiations

with the Taliban and launched its strategic plan for support to Afghan’s needing assistance. The plan consists of three elements:

1. Lifesaving assistance, including food and shelter, as well as support for refugees;

2. Essential services, including critical infrastructure, jobs and employment;

3. Meeting basic human needs, including crisis management and the preservation of human rights.

Critical to both the UN engagement, and the agreement struck between the Taliban and the United States of America before the withdrawal of international forces, is a commitment to preserve the rights of women and girls.

Drawing from the text of the UN’s Transitional Engagement Framework for Afghanistan,

‘The UN will reaffirm (as per SC resolution 2593) the importance of upholding human rights and the rule of law including those of women, children and minorities...’

Today almost all of Afghanistan’s secondary schools for girls remain closed.

The rights of women and girls to move freely are heavily restricted.

The ability of women to earn a living and to build a future of their choosing is eroding more every day.

The UN Resident Coordinator has promised, ‘Whatever uncertainties lie ahead, we will place the needs of women and girls at the centre of our recovery efforts and will work every day to ensure that they return to work, go back to school, and are able to resume their right to live free and equal lives.[2]

As a representative of the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) I pledge to ensure that the plight of Afghanistan’s women and girls is heard across Canada.

One year ago, UNA-Canada stood in solidarity with the victims of the Taliban take over, most especially women and girls. Today, we reaffirm our solidarity and call upon our members and supporters to do the same.

Women and girls in Afghanistan deserve an education, they are owed a future.

[1] [2]


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