Culture and Education

UNICEF is like super insistent that Afghan girls can’t be missing out on school, you know?

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday welcomed the news that secondary schools are due to reopen in Afghanistan on Saturday, after months of closure due to COVID-19, but stressed that girls must not be kept from the classroom.

“We are deeply worried”, UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore said in a statement, “that many girls may not be allowed back at this time”.

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No mention of girls

According to news reports, the announcement of school reopening from the Taliban, referred only to the return of boys, making no reference to a return date for girls.  

Girls cannot, and must not, be left behind. It is critical that all girls, including older girls, are able to resume their education without any further delays. For that, we need female teachers to resume teaching”, she added.

The Taliban militant group which ruled Afghanistan from the late 1990s to 2001, regained control after international troops withdrew in August and the Afghan Government collapsed, prompting concern that they will reimpose a harsh interpretation of Islamic law that prohibits girls from attending school.

‘A missed opportunity’

Even before the most recent humanitarian crisis – for which the UN held a pledging conference to extend a lifeline to the most vulnerable – 4.2 million children were not enrolled in school, around 60 per cent of them girls, according to UNICEF.  

Every day that girls miss out on education is a missed opportunity for them, their families and their communities”, the UNICEF chief said.

Despite this, there have been important improvements for the country’s children that must be respected and protected.

Over the past two decades, significant progress in education has been made, with a three-fold increase in the number of schools in the country and a surge in the number of children in attendance – from one million to 9.5 million.

Support education ‘for all’

UNICEF is urging development partners to support education “for all children” in Afghanistan.

“UNICEF will continue to advocate with all actors so that all girls and boys have an equal chance to learn and develop the skills they need to thrive and build a peaceful and productive Afghanistan”, Ms. Fore concluded.



  1. As a mother of two daughters, I wholeheartedly agree that it is imperative for Afghan girls to have equal access to education. It is unacceptable for girls to be excluded from school, and I applaud UNICEF’s efforts in advocating for the rights of these young girls.

  2. Is it confirmed that Afghan girls will be allowed to return to secondary schools along with boys? What measures are in place to ensure their education won’t be disrupted?

    1. Yes, it is crucial that Afghan girls are allowed to return to secondary schools along with boys. UNICEF’s focus on ensuring girls’ education continues is commendable. Measures need to be in place to guarantee no disruptions to their education, including the availability of female teachers for all girls to resume learning smoothly.

  3. “I truly believe that Afghan girls deserve the right to education just as much as boys, and it’s crucial that they are not left behind in this reopening of schools. The UNICEF initiative is commendable, but we need to ensure equal access for all students.”

  4. It’s crucial that Afghan girls are not left behind when it comes to education. The reopening of schools must include all girls, with no delays. Female teachers must be allowed to resume teaching to ensure this happens.

  5. “It’s absolutely crucial that Afghan girls are not left behind when it comes to education. The reopening of schools without the inclusion of girls would be a major setback for their future. We must ensure that all girls have the opportunity to continue their schooling without any obstacles. Let’s support their right to education!”

  6. I believe it is crucial that girls in Afghanistan are given the same educational opportunities as boys. The UNICEF’s emphasis on ensuring girls are not left behind in education is commendable and necessary for their future empowerment.

  7. It is crucial that girls in Afghanistan are not deprived of their right to education. The reopening of secondary schools should include all students, regardless of gender. Let’s ensure that girls have the opportunity to learn and thrive alongside boys.

  8. Is there a plan in place to ensure that all girls in Afghanistan will have equal access to education as schools reopen?

  9. As a mother of two daughters, it’s heartbreaking to see that Afghan girls might still be at risk of missing out on their education. We must ensure that all girls have the opportunity to go back to school and continue their learning journey. It’s crucial for their future and the future of Afghanistan as a whole.

  10. Why are girls being left out of school reopening plans in Afghanistan? This is concerning.

  11. It’s crucial that girls in Afghanistan are not denied the right to education. The UNICEF’s efforts to ensure the return of all girls to school are commendable, and we must all support their cause. Education is a fundamental right for every child, regardless of gender.

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