After leading a landmark, first-ever all-women mission to Afghanistan last week, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, says that schools must reopen for all children and that girls, in particular, must be able to return to secondary school classrooms.
Secondary schools have reopened for boys but remain closed to the vast majority of girls.
Women are banned from most employment; the Taliban government added insult to injury by saying women in their employ could keep their jobs only if they were in a role a man cannot fill—such as being an attendant in a women’s toilet
. Women are mostly out of university, and due to new restrictions it is unclear when and how they can return. Many female teachers have been dismissed
Education Cannot Wait Director Yasmine Sherif urged the world to support their efforts to provide education to children living in Afghanistan – in what she called the “biggest humanitarian crisis” on earth.
“If I fall into the hands of the Taliban, not only me but my family will be killed,” said AB, 23*, who worked as a broadcast journalist for the past seven years and is a well-known face on the television screen.
While Afghanistan ends a historic year, filled with the hope for peace as the government and Taliban sat down for almost three months of consecutive peace talks for the first time in 19 years, it was also a year filled with violence with provisional statistics by the United Nations showing casualties for this year being higher than 2019.
Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the United Nations this week launched a U.N. group that aims to put women at the centre of peace initiatives in Afghanistan.
Too many children are dying as a result of explosive weapons, and the international community must step up to protect and declare children off limits in war.
"I never come here, just because of boys," Atifa says, pointing at the door of the stall. "They're opening the door." Atifa, a sixth grader in Kabul, Afghanistan, attends a school of 650 girls. Since they study in tents in a vacant lot, the only toilets the girls have access to are on the far side of the boys' school next door. The school is one of a very few for girls in the area, so some students walk over an hour each way to get there.
On Sunday, June 5, three reporters were killed: Somali broadcast journalist Sagal Salad Osman, Aghan journalist Zabihullah Tamanna, and American photojournalist David Gilkey.
Land mines are not the only type of explosive devices that families returning home after conflicts risk stumbling across, representatives from the UN’s Mine Action Service (UNMAS) told journalists here Monday.
Women constitute nearly half of the country's 1.25 billion people and gender equality -- whether in politics, economics, education or health -- is still a distant dream for most. This fact was driven home again sharply by the recently released United National Development Programme’s Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 which ranks India at a lowly 130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII). India trails behind most Asian countries, including lesser developed Bangladesh and Pakistan which rank 111 and 121 respectively, and fares not much ahead of war-ravaged Afghanistan at 152.
In November 2015 I visited Syria together with an International Peace delegation. This was my third visit to Syria in the last three years. As on previous occasions I was moved by the spirit of resilience and courage of the people of Syria.
The appalling crisis ravaging the Middle East and striking terror around the world is a clear challenge to the West, but responses are uncoordinated. This is due on the one hand to divergent analyses of the situation, and on the other to conflicting interests.
World Trade Organization (WTO) members concluded the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on 19 December by securing an historic agreement on a series of trade initiatives. The “Nairobi Package” pays fitting tribute to the Conference host, Kenya, by delivering commitments that will benefit in particular the organization’s poorest members.
“My two sons were killed by Taliban militants mercilessly three years ago. My husband died a natural death two year back. Now, I am begging to raise my two grandsons,” Gul Pari, 50, told IPS.
The military conflicts and political instability driving hundreds of thousands of refugees into Europe were triggered largely by U.S. and Western military interventions for regime change – specifically in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria (a regime change in-the-making).
As tens of thousands of refugees continue to flee conflict-ridden countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, Western European governments and international humanitarian organisations are struggling to cope with a snowballing humanitarian crisis threatening to explode.
As the number of civilians impacted by the intensifying conflict in Afghanistan rises along with the fighting, humanitarian agencies are struggling to meet the needs of the wounded, hungry and displaced.
The United Nations has declared that 2015 is already “the deadliest year” for millions of migrants and asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution in their countries.