EEP Group

Kelly calls for greater access to European academic networks for Afghan citizens

Published: Fri, 03 February 2023

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Speaking from the European Parliament on Thursday(February 2), Seán Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, has called for greater access for Afghan citizens to European academic networks.

The Taliban government have issued a new decree that bans universities from enrolling women in the 2023 entrance exam, tightening their ban on women’s education in the country. Universities that do not comply will face legal action according to the Taliban ruling.

“Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year, they have effectively created a society ruled by gender segregation and discrimination, with women’s freedom of movement, freedom of thought and freedom of expression stripped away.”

“Education is a basic human right that works to raise men and women out of poverty, however the reality is that far too many young people across the world are still being denied access to an education today,”

“What we see happening in Afghanistan is a complete disgrace. Violence against women has increased during Taliban rule and their access to justice systems and legal assistance has drastically decreased. Not only have their protections been sacrificed to ideology, their opportunities have been shunned be their lack of access to education.”

“It is inspiring to see the brave young women and men of Afghanistan protesting for their right to education,” the Fine Gael MEP stated. “However, the European Union must do more to ensure that girls in Afghanistan are not denied this fundamental right. The Commission and Member States must work to open up academic networks to Afghan citizens, especially women and girls. Therefore, I am calling on Universities across Europe to develop special programmes to support Afghan students and scholars.”

“The ongoing denial of access to education for girls and young women in Afghanistan will have long-lasting consequences. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to rectify The EU has the capacity to support the brightest young Afghan minds and future leaders to continue their education,” Kelly concluded.

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