Yesterday, on October 11, the world observes the International Day of the Girl Child. The theme of International Day of the Girl 2023 is “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being,” according to the official website of the United Nations.
Fact sheet: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/10/11/fact-sheet-white-house-celebrates-international-day-of-the-girl-and-announces-new-actions-to-support-youth-in-the-u-s-and-abroad/
On this significant occasion, it’s important to note the absence of any mention regarding the situation of women in Afghanistan in the latest White House report by President Joe Biden. In his address, President Biden highlighted the establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council, aiming to advance gender equity and equality across both domestic and foreign policy. He reiterated the United States’ commitment to empowering girls globally, underscoring a historic doubling of foreign assistance to promote gender equity worldwide in the preceding year.
Mosawer Begana women’s rights activist Pointed “President Biden’s address reveals a concerning ignorance of the unfolding situation in Afghanistan concerning women’s rights—a country that was an ally for 20 years, purportedly upholding democratic values, freedom of expression, and women’s education,
In a recent White House report, President Biden did not mention the evolving situation in Afghanistan regarding women’s rights.
Unfortunately, on this important day, he did not delve into the challenges faced by Afghan women in last 2 years, This may suggest a lesser emphasis on Afghan women’s rights in America’s current priorities
The International Day of the Girl Child, established through a 2012 United Nations resolution, aims to ensure a safe, healthy, and educated life for girls. It aligns with one of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, stretching until 2030,” he emphasized, underscoring the importance of this globally recognized day.
This day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by girls globally, emphasizing their fundamental rights to a secure, healthy, and educated life. The aspiration is for these capable young girls to grow into literate mothers and become future political leaders,” he continued, drawing attention to the hopeful outlook.
But Unfortunately, the current situation in Afghanistan starkly contrasts this vision, with girls’ schools closed for 753 days, women deprived of their basic rights, and subjected to dire circumstances,” he lamented, highlighting the stark disparity from the envisioned path.”
The International Day of the Girl Child was unanimously adopted during the World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. The Beijing Declaration, the first policy specifically advocating for girls’ rights worldwide, was a pivotal step. Subsequently, on December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated October 11 as the Day of the Girl Child through a resolution. Since then, the International Day of the Girl Child has been commemorated annually, beginning in 2012, serving as a day for analysis and evaluation of the global situation of girls.
In Afghanistan, the grim reality persists—girls continue to be denied fundamental rights, including education, work, and freedom, facing immense pressure under the ruling regime.
In addition of the situation, Human rights organizations have called for the immediate release of Afghan women’s rights activists like Zholia Parsi and Neda Parwani, who have been arrested for peacefully protesting against the Taliban’s anti-women policies. Tamna Zaryab Pariyani, an Afghan women’s rights activist in Germany, is on an 15-day strike for recognition of gender apartheid inside Afghanistan.