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Afghanistan: Girls Struggle for an Education

Insecurity, Government Inaction, and Donor Disengagement Reversing Vital Gains

Tuesday 17 October 2017


(Kabul, October 17, 2017) - Afghan government and international donor efforts since 2001 to educate girls have significantly faltered in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Sixteen years after the US-led military intervention in Afghanistan ousted the Taliban, an estimated two-thirds of Afghan girls do not attend school. "The Afghan government and donors made bold promises in 2001 to get all girls into education, but insecurity, poverty, and displacement are now driving many girls out of school," said Liesl Gerntholtz, women's rights director at Human Rights Watch. "The government needs a renewed focus to ensure all girls have a school to attend or risk these gains being lost."The 132-page report, "I Won't Be a Doctor, and One Day You'll Be Sick: Girls' Access to Education in Afghanistan," describes how, as security in the country worsens and international donors disengage from Afghanistan, progress made toward getting girls into school has stalled. It is based on 249 interviews in Kabul, Kandahar, Balkh, and Nangarhar provinces, mostly with girls ages 11 to 18 who were not able to complete their education.

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