In response to the announcement today that secondary schools in Afghanistan will be reopening, but only for boys, Save the Children said it was critical that all children in Afghanistan have access to education.

Olivier Franchi, Regional Programme Operations Director for Save the Children in Asia, said:

“If girls are not allowed to go back to school, this will be a shocking violation of their rights. All children have an equal right to education regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion or economic background.

“Every child in Afghanistan today has grown up knowing only war, which has already disrupted the education of millions. Many Afghan children are also suffering from trauma and that is now being compounded by the impact of drought, mass displacement and a growing economic crisis. Education is not just about their growth and development; it is a lifeline – especially for girls. To have that lifeline taken away now would be devastating.

“Save the Children is committed to ensuring all children have access to a quality education and we will continue to advocate this to all relevant parties in Afghanistan.”

Save the Children has been working in Afghanistan since 1976, providing access to education and technical support to schools across the country. Despite closures due to COVID-19 in 2020, the agency still managed to reach more than 300,000 children through its education programmes that year. Half of them were girls.