ANI Photo | Women, girls deserve full access to education: US envoy Thomas West on Taliban ban

Following the ban on higher education for women by the Taliban, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West said that women and girls in Afghanistan should have complete access to education in honour of Malala Day, reported Khaama Press. 
West took to his Twitter account and said, “Afghan women and girls are a tremendous asset to the future of Afghanistan and deserve full access to education to realize their potential.”
The Malala Day is celebrated in honour of Malala Yousafzai who is a Pakistani education activist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize was born on July 12 and following that, UN declared that day as “Malala Day.”
Malala while addressing the audience at the United Nations House in Abuja, Nigeria, said, “Ten years ago, millions of Afghan girls were going to school.”
She expressed her concern over the Taliban’s “complete reversal” of women’s rights and education in Afghanistan, according to Khaama Press. 
“One in three young women were enrolled in university. And now? Afghanistan is the only country in the world to ban girls and women from seeking education,” she added.
“Even as a teenager, I understood that progress could be slow – but I never expected to witness a complete reversal, an entire country of girls locked out of school, trapped in their homes and losing hope.”
The Taliban banned girls from secondary school in March 2022, prohibited women from working for humanitarian aid agencies, and barred women from pursuing higher education in December last year, reported Khaama Press. 
Earlier in May, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that Muslim world condemns the Taliban’s ban on higher education for women.
“When the Taliban enacted restrictive bans on higher education for women, governments from across the Muslim world spoke up to condemn the Taliban’s decision,” and they had argued that the actions were inhumane and contrary to Islamic beliefs, Blinken said. 
This comes as religious clerics have said that access to education for school and university students is the basic right of students and called on the Taliban to provide access to education for both male and female students.
Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, women and girls have been denied their fundamental right to education. 

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