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Bomb Blasts in Kabul’s Hazara Neighborhood Deepen Students’, Families’ Fears

Afghanistan’s children are bleeding again. Multiple bomb blasts on April 19 outside a high school and an education center in Kabul’s Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood left at least six people dead and twenty wounded, including children, and casualties could…
A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of an explosion in front of a school, in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 19, 2022.
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Taliban’s Attack on Girls’ Right to Education Continues

“For Afghan girls, the earth is unbearable, and the sky is unreachable.” Atefa, 16, used this Farsi proverb to express her despair after the Taliban blocked girls from attending secondary school this week, breaking a pledge to end the ban. I…
Afghan girls attend class at a high school in Herat, Afghanistan, November 25, 2021.
News

Action Taken Days Before Key Donor Pledging Conference

On March 21 the Taliban promised to reopen all schools in Afghanistan, ending their seven-month de-facto ban on girls attending secondary school. Two days later, as many girls were preparing for the first day of the new school term, the Taliban…
A woman holds a protest sign that reads "Education is our right"
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Measuring Taliban Pledges Against Practice

(New York) – The Taliban’s pledge to allow all girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan to reopen on March 23, 2022, needs careful monitoring, Human Rights Watch said today. Aziz Ahmad Rayan, an Afghan education ministry spokesman, told the media on…
Afghan girls exit classrooms at Tajrobawai Girls High School in Herat, one of the few provinces where the Taliban permitted girls' secondary schools to reopen, November 25, 2021.
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Policy Recommendations for International Donors

(New York) – International donors seeking to fund education for girls and women in Afghanistan should carefully consider and address the human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Taliban have said that they…
Girls gather to go home from school.
News

Lessons for donors from Afghan students, teachers, and principals

A crucial deadline looms for girls in Afghanistan: the Taliban say they will reopen all girls’ secondary schools in late March 2022, when the new school year commences in most provinces. But it is far from clear what that will mean in practice if…
Girls gather to go home from school.
News

Standoff Points to Growing Marginalization of Muslims

Over the past month, several government-run educational institutions in India’s Karnataka state have banned Muslim female students from wearing the hijab, or headscarf. The state government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),…
Women in masks holding up protest signs
News

Closing Secondary Schools to Girls Causing Lasting Harm

“I want to go to school and become an independent woman who chooses and decides for her life,” 16-year-old Nasiba told me. “If I am educated, men wouldn’t dare to interfere but if I am not, they will decide my whole life for me.” She lives in Kabul…
Women demonstrate for their rights during a gathering for National Teachers Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 5, 2021.
News

Attacks on Education Rose 33 Percent Globally, Prompting Calls for Urgent Action

(New York) – Explosive weapons were used to attack about 40 schools in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2021, as Taliban forces took over key territories, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) said in a report…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
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Ending Military Use of Schools Protects Students, Teachers

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently called on India to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration, an intergovernmental political commitment to take common-sense measures to make it less likely that students, teachers, and schools are…
An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard during a search operation in Srinagar, Kashmir, in August 2018.
News

Donors Should Sustain Vital Services While Decrying Violations

Donor countries to Afghanistan say they want to keep protecting the human rights of women and girls, even as international troops prepare to depart the country. But a bill introduced in the United States Senate last week raises tricky issues about how…
Women walking Nadir Khan Overlooking Kabul womens rights us withdrawl
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Attackers Target Girls Leaving Kabul High School

Scenes from Sayed ul-Shuhada High School in Kabul, Afghanistan, where as many as 85 people including many schoolgirls were killed in an attack this weekend, should break anyone’s heart. They certainly broke mine. In 2017 a filmmaker and I spent a week…
Books, notebooks, and other school supplies are left behind after May 8's deadly bombings near a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 9, 2021.
News

Boost Aid for Civil Society, Education, Health, Media

(New York) – The US government should address fears of increased insecurity fueled by its announced plan to withdraw all military forces from Afghanistan by committing to expanded support for human rights, including women’s rights, Human Rights…
President Joe Biden speaks from the Treaty Room in the White House on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, about the withdrawal of the remainder of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. 
News

Government Proposal for Mosque-Based Primary Schools Raises Concerns

An Afghan government proposal that children study in mosques for the first three years of primary school raises concerns about its commitment to the right to education. “We are working to transfer the first, second, and third grades of the school…
Main image for Afghanistan Report
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Continued Assistance for Education, Health, Media Essential

(Geneva) – Afghanistan’s foreign donors meeting in Geneva, beginning November 23, 2020, should prioritize funding for education and health, especially for girls and women, and for independent media, Human Rights Watch said today. The pledging…
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Issue XV: The impact of COVID19- on women and girls’ education

UN Women, UNICEF and Human Rights Watch jointly issue this fifteenth alert to continue to highlight the gender specific impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan. This alert focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls’ education and the…
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Internet Restrictions Amid Pandemic Exacerbate Yearlong Crackdown

(New York) – Indian authorities continue to impose harsh and discriminatory restrictions on Muslim-majority areas in Jammu and Kashmir, one year after the revocation of the state’s constitutional status on August 5, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today…
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Abuses Persist, Protections Fragile as Peace Talks Begin

(New York) – The Taliban in Afghanistan have imposed severe restrictions on rights in areas under their control despite claims of reform, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Residents reported an inability to criticize or question…
Two children walk by armed soldiers in the countryside
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