We need secular education for women: Women in Kashmir


New Delhi, India: “A vast majority of Pakistan’s population only have access to religious education through a flourishing chain of Madrassas. Education cannot be fettered by dogmatic ideas and students have a right to the vast expanse of knowledge that exists.”, they said.

Additionally, talking about the state of women in Afghanistan they said, “Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, all schools and educational institutions for girls have been shut down.”

They shared that the two decades of enforced peace under an international mandate had provided a glimmer of hope to thousands of girls and their families that Afghan girls could finally have access to education without fear however everything changed.

“The geopolitical compromise of August 15, 2021, changed all that in the blink of an eye without a thought to the implications for half of that country’s population. If the plight of Afghan women and men is to be the responsibility of Afghans alone, then they should have been left alone a long time ago.”, they empathised with the Afghan women.

Pushing for international attention they said, “It is the responsibility of the international community to ensure that not just food and shelter, but education, particularly for girls, is also included in the humanitarian relief endeavour. The international community needs to acknowledge the issue of education of Afghan women with all the seriousness that it deserves. “In addition to this, they talked of brewing propaganda working to throttle the educational opportunities and said, “The propagandists conveniently ignore the wide gap in the educational opportunities afforded to the girls of J-K in comparison with their sisters in those parts of J-K which are illegally under foreign occupation.”

The women said that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan today have been sadly left behind on the education front, depriving their sisters of the right to modern and secular education.
“Absence of modern schools and colleges in PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan has deprived our sisters of the opportunity that we have come to take for granted in India. Not just in J&K, we have access to any institution of our choice anywhere in India.”, the women said.

“In the absence of employment opportunities, students of these Madrassas end up becoming teachers themselves, further proliferating these institutions and their teachings.”, they added.
Discouraging the Pakistani government, they mentioned that the situation is no better in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where all moderate and progressive political forces have been sacrificed.

“The Province has seen a level of Talibanization that is not there even in Afghanistan. The educational prospects of the girl child in KP can be described in two words: Malala Yusufzai”, they said.

Moreover, the women pointed out, “Our sisters in KP face as bleak a future as those in Afghanistan. Unless the rot is stemmed, very soon most of our Pakistani sisters, barring the rich and powerful, would be subject to the same future. Excellency, we have deliberately not included facts and figures as these are well documented and publicly available for anyone to see. “The women asked the world community to raise this matter objectively and apolitically and sought solutions to this ‘grave’ human rights problem.

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