More than 2 million Afghan school girls not enrolled, UN 'v ery concerend'

Aid to Afghanistan should be made conditional to ensure the protection of women’s rights and access to education under the rule of the Taliban government, a panel of high-level speakers said at the United Nations on Friday.

Since taking control of the country last month when the U.S.-backed government collapsed, the Taliban have allowed younger girls and boys back to school. But in grades six to 12, they have allowed only boys back to school along with their male teachers.

The United Nations says 4.2 million children are not enrolled in school in Afghanistan, and 60% of them girls.

The Taliban have also said female university students will face restrictions, such as a compulsory dress code, and will not be allowed in the same classrooms as their male counterparts. Additionally, the subjects being taught will be reviewed, the new government said.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said that “by and large, we’re very concerned” about measures restricting girls’ access to education since the Taliban took control of the country following the U.S. withdrawal and collapse of the Afghan government in August.

“I think the international community here, first and foremost, has to draw on the expertise, on the leadership of Afghan women… to stop the reversal, to remain in school,” she said in the U.N. panel that focused on ways to support girls’ education in Afghanistan. The virtual discussion took place on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, where the Taliban have requested to speak as representatives of Afghanistan.

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