Engineer student Somaya Faruqi left Afghanistan when the Taliban regime was reinstated in 2000 and banned 1.1 million women and girls from access to education through schools or universities.
Today (local time), Education Cannot Wait launched an initiative with a 21-year-old Afghan national as its star player to raise global funds to fight this crisis. This commemorates two years since Kabul’s internationally recognized government fell.
With their campaign hashtag “#AfghanGirlsVoices,” this group has organized an international initiative that champions Afghan girls’ access to education.
Many women and girls were forced to flee their country in order to pursue higher levels of education.
Faruqi completed high school level education in Qatar after she, along with nine other members of her robotics team “The Afghan Dreamers,” left Afghanistan by 2021.
Students studying Engineering are currently starting their second year at Sacramento State University in California thanks to an award from Qatar.
Faruqi told AFP by phone: ‘FORGOTTEN‘ should bring attention back to Afghan girl education issues as well as draw global awareness to them.
“Afghanistan is being forgotten,” she complained.
Afghanistan’s Taliban government remains isolated due to their complete exclusion of women in society, both the workplace and education settings. One key barrier is women being barred from participating fully as contributors within society – something an international organization cannot fully address due to gender inequality issues in Afghanistan’s society and education systems.
“Normal relations cannot exist between the Taliban and other nations until women’s and girls’ rights, in addition to other issues, are recognized,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced during his press briefing in Washington DC.
Last month, a UN report highlighted Afghanistan as one of the “worst places on earth” for women and girls’ conditions, specifically their treatment by the Taliban government that adheres to an extreme interpretation of Islam as evidence of gender separation practices.
Women’s human rights violations in Afghanistan “should be considered acts of human rights violation and brought before the International Criminal Court”, former British premier Gordon Brown stated during a video call meeting held Tuesday with reporters via video call.
Tragicevenement In 2021, just months after Taliban authorities regained rule for the first time in more than two decades, they banned girls from secondary schools. Later they closed university doors entirely to them in December 2022 before severely restricting participation at workplaces.
Faruqi recognizes the urgent need to ensure equal opportunities are granted to female and male school-goers and that access to education remains available since education is seen as a key factor to freedom, she told AFP.
Girls have been banned from attending schools and public areas such as gyms or parks, according to an announcement issued by the United Nations on Tuesday. “Girls cannot do anything outside their homes”, explained she in her UN statement released today.
Many families view marriage as the only realistic path forward for daughters, and she said many of her peers feel coerced into it.
Depression is an all too familiar problem and the suicide rate for females has sharply risen over recent years – something she acknowledged during the announcement.
Education Cannot Wait will raise awareness on social media throughout September to bring attention to this critical issue, amplifying Afghan women and girls as world leaders convene at a UN General Assembly Meeting between September 18-19th.