The late-night reversal of a decision by Taliban authorities in Afghanistan to allow girls from grades 7 to 12 to return to school has been met with distress from within the country and internationally – and fear that it could herald further restrictions.
Nine-year-old Marguerite Doumkel sits among other children in a classroom in Paoua, a sub-prefecture of Ouham Pende, in the Central African Republic (CAR).
The statistics are dire: One in three women have experienced a form of gender-based violence in their lifetime, be it sexual violence, physical violence, or child marriage. The message is clear: Women and girls deserve a safer, brighter future – free from gender-based violence.
Meals at schools not only give each child a nutritious meal but increase enrolments, among other benefits.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of education globally, but for children in emergencies and protracted crises, its blow has been particularly devastating.