Girls being denied right to education in Afghanistan, Pak, PoK: J&K women  

The memorandum stated that over the years, the Pakistani leadership has resorted to spreading religious conservatism as a means of political domination…reports Asian Lite News

Young girls and women protested at the United Nations’ office in Srinagar on Monday, demanding the right to education for Muslim women in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

In their memorandum to UN officials, the women said: “Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, all schools and educational institutions for girls have been shut down. The two decades of enforced peace under an international mandate had provided a glimmer of hope to thousands of girls and their families that Afghan girls could finally have access to education without fear.”

“A lot of propaganda is carried out across the United Nations and other multilateral platforms about the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The proponents and buyers of this propaganda conveniently ignore the wide gap in the educational opportunities afforded to the girls of J&K in comparison with their sisters in those parts of J&K which are illegally under foreign occupation. Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan today have been sadly left behind on the education front, depriving our sisters of the right to modern and secular education,” it said.

The memorandum stated that over the years, the Pakistani leadership has resorted to spreading religious conservatism as a means of political domination.

“A vast majority of Pakistan’s population only have access to religious education through a flourishing chain of Madrassas. Education cannot be fettered by dogmatic ideas and students have a right to the vast expanse of knowledge that exists. Absence of modern schools and colleges in PoK and G-B has deprived our sisters the opportunity that we have come to take for granted in India. Not just in J&K, we have access to any institution of our choice anywhere in India. It is our fervent appeal that the United Nations take note of the deplorable condition of girls’ education, a right that has been cruelly and forcibly snatched away from them for reasons of history, for which they are not responsible nor should they be made to pay the price for it,” it stated.

The memorandum stated that madrassas offering free education have mushroomed in Balochistan. The poor and unemployed families of one of the most richly endowed Provinces have no choice but to send their children to these Madrassas, where their “fragile minds are poisoned with retrogressive ideas and information”.

It stated: “The situation is no better in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where all moderate and progressive political forces have been sacrificed. The Province has seen a level of Talibanization that is not there even in Afghanistan. The educational prospects of the girl child in KP can be described in two words: Malala Yusufzai. Our sisters in KP face as bleak a future as those in Afghanistan. Unless the rot is stemmed, very soon most of our Pakistani sisters, barring the rich and powerful, would be subject to the same future.”

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