PESHAWAR: The religious leaders from different part of the country including Afghan clerics at Conference called upon the Afghan Government to open girls’ secondary schools in the country.
The Call was made in a Religious Leaders’ Conference, organized in Peshawar, by Mutahida Shariat Mahaz, a renowned network of religious leader from all Muslim sects.
The speakers of the conference included Zahoor Shakir Advisor to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Maulana Yousaf Shah Haqani Chairman Muttahidda Ulema Board, Zia Ullah Shah Bukhari Chairman Central Ahle Hadith Council, Member Council of Islamic Ideology, Maulana Anwar Ul Haq Haqani Chief Khateeb Quetta, Mualana Abdul Qayyum Haqqani, and Dr. Muhammaad Iqbal Khalil Aahya Ul Uloom Foundation.
The speakers emphasized on the role of motivated and committed religious and community leaders, as key to promote girls’ education and transformative change, who work individually and collectively to convert their commitments into meaningful actions. For girls’ education, this social transformation needs to tackle entrenched stereotypical norms and structures that create resistance to change.
The religious leaders in the Conference, while highlighting the importance of girls’ education in the reflection from Holy Quran and Sunnah, called upon the Taliban leadership to reconsider the decision of keeping the girls secondary schools closed and to reopen all girls’ secondary schools so that all children without any discrimination can continue their education.
While addressing the conference, Maulana Tayyab Qureshi Chief Khateeb Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said: “for sustainable change towards girls’ education across the Muslim countries, religious leaders must play their due role at the community level.”
“We must work in collaboration with other civil society actors in implementing innovative approaches and cultural transformation on girls’ and women’s education and empowerment, in particular to increase the completion rates of girls at all levels of the education across Muslim countries.” He added.
The speakers also demanded Taliban Government to allocate all required resources and facilities to support and promote girls’ access to secondary education and to ensure that girls can access education without any fear and intimidation and can play their role in social, political and economic development of the country.
Allama Syed Hashim Musavi, religious leader from Hazara Community and Madrassa Baaqir Ul Uloom Quetta, while expressing concern over the closure of secondary schools in Afghanistan said that: “Closure of secondary schools, is a deprivation of very basic right to education of girls and women in Afghanistan. We must facilitate women and girls to avail opportunities for economic growth, for which we call upon the Muslim Governments to invest in improving girls’ education so they have the knowledge, education, skills, and self-confidence to participate in economic spheres.”
Ghulam Majid Senior Researcher Council of Islamic Ideology said: “Islam encourages women to be educated and have an active participation in public life. Synergized efforts and actions by governments, faith groups, traditional leaders, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, young people, practitioners, communities, international organizations, media and the private sector must be strengthened to promote girls’ access to education at all levels.”
The conference concluded with the Declaration endorsed by religious leaders on girls’ secondary education and women empowerment, announcing girls access to all levels of education a fundamental right and calling Muslim Government across the world to redouble efforts and work together to ensure that all children, especially girls, have access to 12 years of safe and quality education.