Afghanistan: Parliament strongly condemns education ban for girls

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

MEPs are deeply worried by the recent Taliban decision to indefinitely extend the ban on allowing girls in seventh grade and above to attend school.

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, Parliament calls for a reversal of these restrictions, while noting previous commitments by the Taliban that they would ensure access to education for all citizens.

MEPs deplore the steadily deteriorating situation of women and girls in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s return to power in 2021. Parliament condemns their persistent focus on erasing women and girls from public life and denying their most fundamental rights, including to education, work, movement and healthcare.

Amid a worsening human rights situation and following a recent decision, Afghan women are no longer allowed to travel distances of more than 45 miles (72 km) from their home without the accompaniment of a close male relative.

MEPs commend the bravery of the girls and women who are taking part in street protests against these developments and the Taliban’s rule, and call on both the EU and its member states to increase their support for women’s rights’ activists in the country.

Parliament also emphasises that the EU delegation in Kabul, re-establishing a minimal presence on the ground for the purpose of coordinating humanitarian aid and monitoring the humanitarian situation, does not constitute recognition of the Taliban regime by the European Union.

The resolution will be available in full here (07.04.20212)

Parliament also debated the situation in Afghanistan in plenary with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday 5 April. You can watch the debate again here.

The resolution was adopted by show of hands.


In February, the European Parliament organised the “Afghan Women Days” – a series of events intended to shine a light on the dire situation that women in the country are facing. A group of Afghan women were also finalists for the 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

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