Afghanistan: NRC appalled by the closing of universities for women

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Statement by Neil Turner, Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) country director in Afghanistan on the de-facto authorities’ announcement to end women’s access to university education:

“We condemn this new attack on women and girls’ right to education in Afghanistan. Closing universities to women is a giant step in the wrong direction that will devastate their futures and the future of the country. We call on the Taliban authorities to immediately lift this and other restrictions on access to education.

“Afghanistan has for decades been one of the most challenging countries in which to receive an education – for both boys and girls. To allow the country to prosper and move forward, the Taliban authorities must accept responsibility for the entire population.

“At the same time, we call on the international community to maintain humanitarian assistance – including funding for education – to ensure that there is no collective punishment of students and vulnerable communities because of the actions of the Taliban.”

— NRC