Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has written an open letter to the Taliban in Afghanistan, calling for a return to education for girls and women.
Yousafzai was shot in the head at the age of 15 by a member of Pakistan’s Taliban for championing women’s education rights in the country. The 24-year-old activist survived the attack and has been committed to girls’ education ever since.
“To the Taliban authorities: Revoke the current ban on girls’ education and immediately reopen secondary schools for girls,” Yousafzai wrote in the open letter along with some Afghan women’s rights activists. About a month ago, the extreme Islamist movement decided to ban education for girls and women while allowing male students to continue to sit in school.
The Taliban themselves claim that they will allow girls back into schools as soon as they can implement stricter security and strict segregation between female and male students. However, many doubt whether girls will ever be allowed to go to school again under the regime.
Education plan for Afghan children
In the letter, Yousafzai makes it clear that according to her, religion “is no justification for keeping girls from school”.
Afghanistan is currently the only country in the world to ban girls’ education. The letter also calls on the world leaders of the G20, a group of 19 countries – including Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom – and the European Union, to fund an education plan for Afghan children. So far, 692,881 people have signed the petition accompanying the letter.