‘Serious step backwards’: UK PM Rishi Sunak on Taliban university ban for women | Daily News Byte


UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has criticized the Taliban’s decision to ban university education for girls, saying “denying them university admission is a serious step backwards.”

As a father of daughters, I cannot imagine a world in which they are deprived of education, he said.

In a tweet, the UK PM wrote, “As a father of daughters, I cannot imagine a world in which they are deprived of an education. The women of Afghanistan have so much to offer. Denying them university admission is a serious matter. Back off. The world is watching.” We will judge the Taliban by their actions.”

On Tuesday, Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers banned female students from attending universities with immediate effect in the latest order cracking down on women’s rights and freedoms. Despite initially promising a more moderate regime that respected rights for women and minorities, the Taliban have widely implemented their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia.

The Taliban were ousted in 2001 by a US-led coalition for harboring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and returned to power last year after America’s chaotic departure.

The decision was announced after a government meeting. The letter shared by Ministry of Higher Education spokesperson Ziaullah Hashmi asked private and public universities to implement the ban as soon as possible and to inform the ministry once the ban is implemented.

After the Islamic organization announced the ban, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over news reports. He said that denial of education violates the equal rights of women and girls and will have a devastating impact on the country’s future.

The UN Secretary-General also in fact urged the authorities to ensure equal access to education for women and girls at all levels.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock said today that the Taliban has decided to destroy the future of its own country by destroying the future of girls and women in Afghanistan. She added that Germany would put the issue on the agenda of the G7.

“I will put this issue on the agenda of the G7 tomorrow. The Taliban may try to make women invisible, but will not succeed – the world is watching,” Beerbok tweeted.

Qatar also expressed deep concern and disappointment over the decision of the Afghan caretaker government. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes that these negative practices have a significant impact on human rights, development and the economy of Afghanistan,” read Qatar’s MoFA statement.

Saudi Arabia’s MoFA said it regretted the decision. It also called on the Taliban to reverse the decision, which is surprising in all Islamic countries and goes against giving Afghan women their full legal rights, including the right to a leading education, which supports security, stability, development and prosperity. For Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021 and imposed policies that severely restrict basic rights–particularly the rights of women and girls, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).’

Restrictions on women have increased in recent months. They are barred from most government jobs or paid to stay at home, are not authorized to travel alone outside their city, and are excluded from parks and gardens.

The Islamist group dismissed all women from leadership posts in the civil service and banned girls from attending secondary school in most provinces. A Taliban decree prohibits women from traveling unless accompanied by a male relative and requires women to cover their faces in public – including female TV newscasters.

According to a UNICEF report released in August, the fact that girls in Afghanistan are deprived of secondary education has cost the country’s economy at least USD 500 million in the past 12 months, equivalent to 2.5 percent of GDP.

The report added that if three million girls could have completed their education and entered the workforce, they would have added at least USD 5.4 billion to Afghanistan’s economy.

(with inputs from agencies)

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