LONDON: Human rights activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai said that the Taliban must practically ensure the rights of all women and girls in Afghanistan, asserting that merely statements are not enough.
While addressing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on the situation in Afghanistan, Malala pointed out the significant role of girl’s education in shaping a progressive society.
In her address, she mentioned article 10 of international human rights laws which assures education rights for women. She added that the right to education is not confined to individuals and in war-torn Afghanistan, the education of girls is as important as of men to make it a peaceful and moderate country.
Malala further pleaded to UN to ensure the protection of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. She added that UN must not forget its commitment to protecting human rights.
Amid the political fiasco, the condition of the schools in Afghanistan is not satisfying. Malala told the UNSC that secondary schools have closed and teachers and students have been told to stay at home, adding that the female teachers are asked not to teach boys and hence they have lost their jobs.
Malala also asked for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan so that schools could open and run safely. She added that additional assistance should be given to Afghanistan’s neighbours so the education of refugee children can be ensured. It is important for the US to stay connected in all areas of Afghanistan, Malala said.
Malala Yousufzai said that statements are not going to be sufficient and that the Taliban must guarantee and protect the rights of all women and girls in Afghanistan, including their right to education.
Malala said that international human rights laws guarantee education rights for women. She said the right to education is not only for individuals. Girls, she said, need education for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
Urges UN to protect women and girls in Afghanistan
Malala asked the UN to ensure the protection of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. She added that the UN must remember its commitment to protecting the dignity of the human person.
Discussing the status of schools in Afghanistan, Malala told the UNSC that secondary schools have shut and teachers and students have been told to wait at home. She added that female teachers no longer have jobs because they are not allowed to teach boys.
Malala further asked for a significant increase in humanitarian and development aid to Afghanistan so schools can open and operate safely.
She added that additional assistance should be given to Afghanistan’s neighbours so the education of refugee children can be ensured.
UN presence in all areas of Afghanistan is needed more than ever, Malala said. She urged for the UNSC to stand with the girls and women in Afghanistan.
“It is prime duty of US President Joe Biden to look after and protect women and girls and protect their rights in Afghanistan”, Malala said in another interview.
Asks Pakistan to facilitate Afghan refugees
Meanwhile, Malala Yousufzai in an TV interview on Thursday called upon the Pakistani government to welcome and facilitate Afghan refugees as it has been for many years, and provide refugee children an education.
Malala said it is important to remember that the common man is the one who is tortured the most and is the real victim in such conflicts.
“These are those people who lose their homes, their lives or their loved ones. It is important we think of these people, especially children, a lot of whom have been born during war. They must not be able to understand why this is happening, why foreign wars are being fought on their land and why their own people are failing them in this fight for peace,” she said.
She spoke of how food accessibility is of utmost concern in Afghanistan, how people are unable to access money in their banks, a lot of people have lost their jobs, and so, “right now humanitarian aid is important”.
“Neighbouring countries must open their borders and provide such people shelter. Children who are not feeling safe, they must be saved and must be provided education,” she stressed.
Praises Angelina Jolie
Meanwhile, Malala Yousafzai on Thursday praised Hollywood star Angelina Jolie and Amnesty International for writing “Know Your Rights”.
Sharing a picture with the actress, Malala wrote, “I’m proud of my friend Angelina Jolie and Amnesty for writing “Know Your Rights”, a book to give children the knowledge they need to stand up to injustice in their own lives and around the world.”
In her message to the children and young people the Nobel laureate said, “You have rights that are equal in status to that of any adult. No one has the right to harm you, to silence you, to tell you what to think or believe, to treat you as if you don’t matter, or to prevent you from participating fully in society.”