Calling for more Afghan girls to be educated, participants at a UN event in the western province of Herat discussed the importance of raising awareness among community residents about the critical need for girls to acquire an education so they can contribute more effectively to the western region’s development.
More than 30 people, including religious scholars and tribal elders from Badghis, Ghor and Herat, attended the event, which was organized by the regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to foster discussion about education, gender equality and social development.
At the event, community leaders discussed issues around the closure of many schools, the threats by anti-government elements and the lack of qualified teachers in the region.
Reflecting the comments made by many leaders at the event, Abdullah Hakimi, a religious cleric from Ghor, said that educating girls would help bring sustainable peace and development. “It eventually leads to the betterment of all people’s future,” said Mr. Hakimi.
Also speaking at the event was Hamid Mozamin, a civil society activist from Badghis. He emphasized the importance of increasing awareness at the district level to encourage communities to allow their girls to go to school. “Media is an important driving force that can help raise awareness about girls getting an education” he added.
A UN report released in April 2016, ‘Education and Healthcare at Risk,’ found that children in Afghanistan increasingly struggle to access healthcare and education services. The report documents how conflict-related violence, threats and intimidation by all parties to the conflict harmed health and education personnel, reduced the availability of healthcare and limited children’s access to essential health and education services.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides good offices; promotes coherent development support by the international community; supports the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.