Every child has the right to quality education in a safe and secure environment. Unfortunately, millions of children around the world are denied this fundamental right due to attacks on schools and educational facilities. To address this pressing issue and raise awareness, Atheist Alliance International joins the international community in observing the International Day to Protect Education from Attack on September 9th.
The International Day to Protect Education from Attack, established by the United Nations, is a solemn reminder of the urgent need to safeguard education from armed conflict. It serves as a platform for governments, organizations, and individuals to unite in a global effort to protect schools, students, and educators.
As we mark the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, Atheist Alliance International would like to highlight the critical situation in Afghanistan. There, Taliban fighters, at gunpoint, have systematically prevented women and girls from accessing education.
Atheist Alliance International condemns in the strongest terms this blatant violation of human rights, which not only threatens the progress made over the past two decades but also undermines the principles of equality, freedom, and the right to education.
Addressing this pressing issue is imperative. The right to education is a fundamental human right, and it must be accessible to all, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. The Taliban’s decision to bar women and girls from attending schools and universities is not only regressive but it also perpetuates gender discrimination and inequality.
Reports emerging from Afghanistan paint a harrowing picture of educational institutions turned into arenas of gender-based discrimination, where women and girls are forcibly denied their basic right to education. The consequences of this policy are devastating, affecting not only those directly impacted but also the future development and prosperity of the entire nation.
According to the United States Institute of Peace, “The Taliban have implemented over 20 written and verbal decrees on girls’ education – with each edict adding more and more restrictions.” (“Taking a Terrible Toll: The Taliban’s Education Ban”. United States Institute of Peace.)
Atheist Alliance International calls upon the international community, governments, civil society organizations, and individuals worldwide to take immediate action to address this pressing issue, as follows:
Raise Global Awareness: Share information and stories about the Taliban’s ban on education for women and girls, to ensure that the world is aware of the gravity of the situation.
Advocate for Change: Pressure the Taliban leadership to reverse their discriminatory policies and allow women and girls equal access to education.
Support Education Initiatives: Fund and support organizations working to provide education to Afghan women and girls through alternative means, including online education and community-based learning centers.
Provide Safe Havens: Advocate for the protection of women and girls seeking education, including supporting safe houses and shelters for those at risk.
We cannot stand idly by while the rights and futures of women and girls in Afghanistan are systematically denied. It is imperative that the international community takes a unified stance against the Taliban’s actions and works tirelessly to ensure that every girl and woman in Afghanistan can access education without fear.
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1991. AAI is a global federation of atheist groups and individuals committed to educating its members and the public about atheism, secularism and related issues and supporting atheists around the world who are excluded, disparaged, discriminated against and criminalized. AAI was granted UN Special Consultative status in 2013.
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a positive voice for atheism and secularism. Our goals are to:
Facilitate and support project/events that demystify and normalize atheism, promote critical thinking and counter religious dogma in government and public policy.
Combat discrimination and injustice against atheists around the world.
Support the establishment of new atheist organizations, especially in places where atheists are at risk, victimized and discriminated against.
Strengthen global cooperation between atheists.