Malala Yousafzai meets Blinken and calls on US to act for Afghan women and girls

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Before their closed-door meeting began, Yousafzai noted that “Afghanistan is currently the only country where girls do not have access to secondary education.”

“They are forbidden to learn, and I have worked with Afghan girls and women’s activists, and there is this message from them: that they should have the right to work. They should be able to go to work. ‘school,’ she said. noted.

Yousafzai underscored her message by reading aloud a letter to President Joe Biden from a 15-year-old Afghan girl named Sotodah.

“She writes that the more schools and universities remain closed to girls, the more it will tarnish our hope for our future phase.” Girls’ education is a powerful tool in bringing peace and security. If the girls don’t learn, Afghanistan will suffer too. “Yousafzai read.

Since taking power in Afghanistan in August, the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on girls’ access to education and have barred women from some workplaces. The group issued a so-called “women’s rights decree” setting out the rules governing marriage and women’s property. He made no mention of employment or education.

Afghanistan is also plunged into a humanitarian and economic crisis. Many government officials, healthcare workers and educators were not paid because foreign nations and financial institutions were unwilling to provide funding to the Taliban-led government.

Yousafzai told Blinken, “We hope the United States, together with the UN, will take immediate action to ensure that girls are allowed to return to their schools as soon as possible, that women can return to work and that all necessary educational assistance is provided there.

“We know this has been a challenge, and we want more attention to be paid to education, to teachers’ salaries, because these are the values ​​that prevent – prevent schools from functioning,” she said. declared.

Blinken called Yousafzai an “inspiration” and said he was “very anxious to tell her about the work she does, the work we do, and to hear from her her ideas on how we can be more effective in ensuring, as we work for gender equality, that girls and women have access to education. ”


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