UN Experts Urge Action on ‘Devastating’ Education Inequality, Cite 130 Million Girls Left Out of School

**U.N. experts call for improved education access for global girls on World Day of Education**

The United Nations Rapporteurs for Education, Farida Shaheed, for Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, and members of the United Nations Working Group on Discrimination have called for greater efforts to increase access to education for millions of girls around the world, who are being denied the “fundamental right”.

“It is a global failure to deny them such a basic, transformative and empowering right,” said the joint statement on the occasion of the World Day of Education. The experts highlighted the situation in Afghanistan, the only country in the world that prohibits education beyond the primary level for girls and women. They condemn the discriminatory policies of the de facto Afghan authorities in denying girls access to secondary schools, universities and other centers of learning.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recalled the situation in Ukraine, where 11 months of conflict have disrupted access to education for five million children. Schools, preschools and educational facilities have been destroyed or damaged, while many parents are afraid to send their children to school due to risk of attacks.

Around 1.9 million children rely on online classes, and 1.3 million combining face-to-face and online lessons, however, this is affected regularly due to power outages. UNICEF also reported that two out of three Ukrainian refugee children are currently not enrolled in the host countries’ education systems.

The United Nation experts have said that denying girls access to education is not only depriving them of a basic fundamental right, but is also impoverishing world, as it deprives us of the potential of more than half of humanity. They have urged for more international efforts to empower girls and ensure equal education opportunities for them all over the world.

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