IT is hoped that the Taliban administration will treat the call by the Malaysian Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) to re-consider its decision of banning Afghan women from attending universities in good faith as opposed to deeming such good intention as an interference in its internal affairs.
This is because no government – whether democratic, socialist or military – would welcome such gesture openly. Nevertheless, MOHE deserved praises for its boldness till even the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has endorsed its action.
“To exclude women from acquiring education is a form of systematic discrimination, a clear contravention of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), of which Afghanistan is a member of the convention,” SUHAKAM chairman Prof Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad pointed out in a statement.
“Such a move also violates Article 9 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) which guarantees equal access to education to everyone including women.”
Adopted by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries, CDHRI is constructed based on the teaching of Islam.
According to Rahmat, education is vital for an individual’s development as well as for improving the situation of a country.
Moreover, Rahmat also noted that Goal 4 of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) outlines recommendations on appropriate measures to ensure equal enjoyment of the right to education and that includes no one being left out from obtaining quality education given the success of a country would hinge on the level of education of its citizens.
On this account, SUHAKAM urged the Government to utilise its position as a current member of the UN Human Rights Council and a fellow member state of the OIC to strongly push the Afghan Government to agree to the construction of an inclusive government that respects the will of the Afghan people and restores, respects, and upholds the basic rights of Afghan women and girls. – Dec 29, 2022