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24 March 2022

“Millions of secondary-school girls around Afghanistan woke up hopeful today that they will be able to go back to school and resume their learning. It did not take long for their hopes to be shattered.

“The de facto authorities’ decision to delay the return to school for girls from Grade 7 to Grade 12 is a major setback for girls and their futures.

“With this decision, an entire generation of adolescent girls is being denied their right to an education and being robbed of the opportunity to gain the skills they need to build their futures.

“I urge the de facto authorities to honour their commitment to girls’ education without any further delays. I appeal to community leaders in every corner of Afghanistan to support the education of adolescent girls.

“All children deserve to be in school. This is the surest way to put the country on a surer path toward the peace and prosperity that the people of Afghanistan deserve.”