UN / GIRLS EDUCATION AFGHANISTAN

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15-Aug-2023 00:02:29
The United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, said, “denial of education to Afghan girls and employment to Afghan women is gender discrimination, which should count as a crime against humanity” to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GIRLS EDUCATION AFGHANISTAN
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DATELINE: 15 AUGUST 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN headquarters

15 AUGUST 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room dais
3. Med shot, journalists
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Gordon Brown, Special Envoy for Global Education, United Nations:
“The denial of education to Afghan girls and employment to Afghan women is gender discrimination, which should count as a crime against humanity and it should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. And so today the international community must step up its efforts to restore the freedom of girls to go to school, women to university, to work, to walk in public places, and to enjoy basic liberties, and end what many have called gender apartheid against girls and women.”
5. Wide shot, press room dais
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Gordon Brown, Special Envoy for Global Education, United Nations:
“Individual governments, including the United Kingdom and US governments must follow the European Union to sanction those who are directly responsible for these decisions to discriminate against girls and women in Afghanistan. And I call today for the release of NGO leaders in prison who are imprisoned for defending women's and girls’ rights.”
7. Wide shot, press room dais
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Gordon Brown, Special Envoy for Global Education, United Nations:
“The international community must show that education can get through to the people of Afghanistan, in spite of the Afghan government’s bans. And thus we will sponsor and fund internet learning. We will support underground schools, as well as support education for girls who are forced to leave Afghanistan and need our help to go to school.”
9. Wide shot, press room dais
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Gordon Brown, Special Envoy for Global Education, United Nations:
“There are many people in the education ministry and around the government who want to see the rights of girls restored to education. But I believe that the clerics in Kandahar have stood firmly against that and indeed, continue to issue instructions - the latest being that girls cannot visit, or women cannot visit public places, including cemeteries where loved ones are buried. So, I believe that the pressure that I'm asking that we step up, particularly by the leaders of Muslim majority countries, could be effective. We've got to persuade these clerics, that it's a false interpretation of Islam, to suggest that girls and women should not be able to have the basic rights enjoyed by men.”
11. Wide shot, end of presser

STORYLINE:

The United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, today (15 Aug) said, “denial of education to Afghan girls and employment to Afghan women is gender discrimination, which should count as a crime against humanity” to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Talking to reporters in New York via video teleconference from Edinburgh, Scotland, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said, “the international community must step up its efforts to restore the freedom of girls to go to school, women to university, to work, to walk in public places, and to enjoy basic liberties, and end what many have called gender apartheid against girls and women.”

Brown said governments, “including the United Kingdom and US governments must follow the European Union to sanction those who are directly responsible for these decisions to discriminate against girls and women in Afghanistan.”

He also called for the release of NGO leaders “who are imprisoned for defending women's and girls’ rights.”

The Special Envoy said the international community “must show that education can get through to the people of Afghanistan, in spite of the Afghan government’s bans,” adding, “we will sponsor and fund internet learning. We will support underground schools, as well as support education for girls who are forced to leave Afghanistan and need our help to go to school.”

Brown said “there are many people in the Education Ministry and around the government who want to see the rights of girls restored to education. But I believe that the clerics in Kandahar have stood firmly against that and indeed, continue to issue instructions - the latest being that girls cannot visit, or women cannot visit public places, including cemeteries where loved ones are buried. “

He said, “we've got to persuade these clerics, that it's a false interpretation of Islam, to suggest that girls and women should not be able to have the basic rights enjoyed by men.”

Today marks two years since the Taliban took over in Afghanistan.

Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement said the people of Afghanistan have the right to a peaceful and harmonious future and that the de facto authorities, the Taliban, have an obligation to ensure that this right is realized.

The head of UN Women, Sima Bahous, for her part issued a statement in which she pointed out that through over 50 edicts, orders and restrictions, the Taliban have left no aspect of women’s lives untouched, no freedom spared. She called on all actors to join us in supporting Afghan women in every way, elevating their priorities, voices and
recommendations, funding services they desperately need and receive the support they need.
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