Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot as a schoolgirl by the Pakistani Taliban, has urged the new rulers of Afghanistan to allow girls back to school.
It’s been a month since the radical Islamist Taliban, which seized power in August, barred girls from going back to secondary school while boys were ordered back to class.
The Taliban have claimed they will allow the girls back after ensuring security and strict isolation under their interpretation of Islamic law – but many are skeptical.
Yousafzai and several Afghan women’s rights activists said in an open letter published on Sunday, “To the Taliban authorities …
Yousafzai called on leaders of Muslim countries to make it clear to the Taliban that “religion does not justify preventing girls from going to school”.
“Afghanistan is now the only country in the world that bans girls’ education,” said the authors, who included Shahzad Akbar, the head of the Afghan Human Rights Commission under the previous US-backed government.
The authors called on G20 world leaders to immediately provide funding for an education plan for Afghan children.
A petition accompanying the letter had received over 640,000 signatures on Monday.
Education activist Yousafzai was shot by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants in 2012 on a school bus, a branch of the Afghan Taliban, in his hometown in the Swat Valley.
Now 24 years old, she advocates for girls’ education, with her non-profit Malala Fund investing $2 million in Afghanistan.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)