Decision to suspend access to Education for Women and Girls in Afghanistan 

Statement by the Geneva Centre

January 2, 2023 


The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue deplores the recent decision by the ruling authorities in Afghanistan to bar women and girls from education, which constitutes a violation of the fundamental human right to education for all, enshrined in several international treaties. Furthermore, the decision equally represents a flagrant violation of the basic human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination, and embodies a specific policy of gender discrimination, all of which run contrary to legal  obligations under international law. 

The resulting exclusion of nearly half of the population seriously undermines the universal goals of establishing inclusive and participative societies. The decision would result in a significant setback at various levels of the socio-economic fabric of the country, especially in the domains of health, justice and education, with a foreseeable lack in the near future of female doctors, lawyers and teachers. This acute shortage of service providers would prove detrimental to the population, in particular vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, women and children. The decision would moreover aggravate the risk of forced, underage marriages and gender-based violence. 

The Geneva Centre awaits the revocation of this decision, in due respect of fundamental human rights, which constitute the bedrock of just, peaceful and prosperous societies.