Indonesia, Qatar host conference supporting women’s education

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The International Conference on Afghan Women’s Education, co-chaired by Indonesia and Qatar, was convened in Bali, Indonesia on 8 December 2022.

At the International Conference on Afghan Women’s Education, representatives from more than 30 countries stressed the need of supporting women’s education in Afghanistan.

The foreign minister of Pakistan, who attended the conference, said that his country supports women’s access to education, saying an investment in female education is an investment in the future of the nation.

“The constitution of Pakistan recognizes women’s equal right to education, we are convinced that an investment in female education is an investment in the future of the nation,” Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Speaking at the conference, the foreign minister of Pakistan also mentioned offering scholarships to Afghan students.

“We recently announced the Allama Iqbal scholarships for Afghan students under the program. 4,500 fully funded scholarships will be offered for eligible Afghan students to study in Pakistan. 1,500 of these scholarships have been reserved for Afghan women,” said Zardari.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that it will expand education opportunities across Afghanistan.

“600,000 more children learning. 20,000 community-based classes. In 2023, we’re expanding education opportunities across Afghanistan. We’re repairing classes so they’re safer & more conducive to learning,” UNICEF tweeted.

“The Islamic Emirate should remove all restrictions so that all men and women in the country have access to education,” said Islamullah Muslim, religious cleric.

“The women of Afghanistan are deprived of their basic human and Islamic rights, including their right to study, education, work, and their political rights,” said Soraya Pikan, women’s rights activist.

However, the Islamic Emirate has previously said that, within the framework of Islamic law, it is committed to all the rights of women in Afghanistan.

“All the affairs of our country are carried out in accordance with the principles of the Islamic framework, and attempts are still being made to deal with them if there are any problems or flaws,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

It has been more than 445 days since schools in the nation were closed to female students above grade 6. The Islamic Emirate has said that the work on the reopening of girls’ schools has not yet been finished.

The International Conference on Afghan Women’s Education was held in Bali, co-organized by the governments of Indonesia and Qatar — the first such meeting to take place since the Islamic Emirate came to power, gathering representatives of 38 countries, international organizations, NGOs and academics.—Tolonews