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Emotional Appeals For World Leaders At U.N. To Protect Afghan Girls' Education
After contending with world leaders at the United Nations to protect the education and rights of Afghanistan women a year after the Taliban took over, former captain of the Afghanistan girls robotics team, Somaya Faruqi, broke down in tears backstage.

by Pragti Sharma / 22 Sep 2022 16:33 PM IST / 0 Comment(s) / 21

After contending with world leaders at the United Nations to protect the education and rights of Afghanistan women a year after the Taliban took over, former captain of the Afghanistan girls robotics team, Somaya Faruqi, broke down in tears backstage.



Faruqi, 20, stated that I was in the classroom last year, but this year girls are not present in the classrooms. Classrooms are empty, and girls are at their homes. So it was too difficult to control me, control my feelings.



Faruqi, who now attends the Missouri University of Science and Technology, departed Afghanistan in August last year, when the Islamist Taliban grasped the power and the United States and allies recoiled forces after a 20-year war.



She encouraged them to unite and demand the reopening of girls' schools and the protection of their rights while speaking at the United Nations in New York this week as world leaders assemble for the high-level meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.



Faruqi said that this week, you are all here to suggest solutions to transform education for all, but you must not overlook those who [are] left behind, those who are not blessed enough to be at school at all. Show your solidarity with me and millions of Afghan girls, she added.



Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner- who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan as she exited school in 2012, admonished leaders for lack of action.



On Monday, Malala stated that most of you know what steps to be taken. You must not make small, cheap, and short-term pledges but commit to maintaining the right to complete education and shutting the funding gap once and for all. Last year, she argued with the world not to compromise on- the security of Afghan women's rights following the Taliban seizure.



Lift all restrictions



The Taliban have instructed that women should not leave their homes and move out without a male relative and must cover their faces, though some women in urban centers overlook the rule.



International development agencies said that in March, the Taliban made a U-turn on a commitment to open high schools for girls. The plurality of teenage girls now have no access to classrooms, and thousands of women have been forced out of the workforce because of tighter regulations and Afghanistan's economic crisis.



The Taliban say they respect women's rights in accordance with their understanding of Islamic law and that since March, they have been functioning on a way of opening girls' high schools.



U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pleaded to the Taliban to lift all restrictions on girls’ access to secondary education immediately- at the Transforming Education Summit on Monday.



Guterres said that education for girls is among the most crucial steps to offer peace, security, and sustainable development, everywhere.



On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken opened the Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience, a collaboration between the State Department and Boston University aimed at growing Afghan women's entrepreneurship and educational opportunities and developing workplace opportunities, both in Afghanistan and elsewhere.



Blinken said that Women, no matter where they live, should hold equal rights in every facet of their lives. Blinken added that this should be, in the year 2022, self-evident to everyone on this planet. But of course, it is not, and we have to oppose it. We have to toil for it every single day.



U.S. Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls and Human Rights, Rina Amiri, said the initiative would face various challenges. Instability, a lack of security, and financial confusion will consider in any attempts to support women's re-entry into Afghan society. She said what we want to show is that there's resilience.



CEO of Code to Inspire, Fereshteh Forough, the first coding school for women and girls in Afghanistan, stated at the alliance's event that she had to shut down her school and switch to online education after the Taliban took over. She broke down in tears as she stated that 80 percent of the students were back to school remotely and that, as of Monday, the school was able to obtain a permit from the Taliban to reopen conditionally.



She said in tears that we were able to get 300 girls to appear for an entrance exam and come to our graphic design school. It is just unbelievable how difficult it has been this year. The text messages I received from the girls it was heartbreaking, she added.


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