Dennis Francis, the president of the UN General Assembly, encouraged the Afghan government on Thursday to rethink its decision to bar women and girls from receiving a quality education.
According to Francis, Afghan women and girls have intrinsic rights that must be preserved and honored, just like men do.
“So I would urge the Afghan authorities to reconsider the policy and allow girls to go to school, to get an education, so that they can play a role in the development of their communities and society,” he told a press briefing.
“They can add value in making Afghanistan a strong, cohesive state, which I’m sure they want to become, and not create this sense of hopelessness by keeping girls out of school. It is not a behavior that is going to strengthen the country. If anything, it is likely to weaken the country,” he said. “So I entreat them to reconsider this policy, sooner rather than later.”
He stated that the only country in the world where girls are prohibited from attending school is Afghanistan.
“It’s inconceivable, really, that this should be the case. It is an anachronism. It is a global anachronism. And anachronisms need to be fixed,” he said.