Unicef urges Taliban to let girls study 1,000 days after school ban

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Kabul, June 13 (IANS/DPA) Marking 1,000 days since girls in Afghanistan were banned from secondary school, a top official at the United Nations children's agency, Unicef, on Thursday used this milestone to urge the Taliban to allow girls to go back to school.

"For 1.5 million girls, this systematic exclusion is not only a blatant violation of their right to education but also results in dwindling opportunities and deteriorating mental health," UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement.

The statement emphasised the far-reaching consequences of the ban, extending beyond the immediate loss of education.

"It exacerbates the ongoing humanitarian crisis and has serious ramifications for Afghanistan's economy and development trajectory," the statement added.

Russell appealed for the return of girls to schools, pointing to the fact that no country can move forward when half its population is left behind.

"I urge the de-facto authorities to allow all children to resume learning immediately. And I urge the international community to remain engaged and support these girls, who need us more than ever."

Since returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban has banned girls and women from studying beyond primary school. However, in some parts of the country, women and girls still attend religious schools, as well as midwifery and nursing schools.

The Taliban government is not recognised internationally.