Qatar and Indonesia Organize International Conference on Afghan Womens Education
HE Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater considered the statement of the International Conference on Afghan Women's Education, which was announced, an important step to highlight the commitment of the international community towards women's education in Afghanistan and the need to find strong solutions to address the obstacles that limit the access of Afghan girls and women to education.
She warned that the Afghan people in general, not just women, face difficulties in various aspects of life, adding that the difficult economic situation the country is going through reduces opportunities for girls and boys alike, calling in this context on the international community to commit to helping the entire Afghan people and creating educational opportunities for girls and boys.
HE stressed that the State of Qatar will continue to defend the rights of everyone in Afghanistan, especially the rights of women, noting that it will continue to work with international partners for the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan.
HE highlighted the efforts of the Education Above All Foundation and the Qatar Fund for Development, in cooperation with international organizations, to provide quality education for millions of Afghan children and finance scholarships, noting in this regard the announcement last September of the launch of the Qatar Afghan Scholarship Project (QASP), which received the 1st batch of 250 Afghan refugee students in US colleges and universities for the academic year 2022-2023.
For her part, HE Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi stressed the importance of the Conference to review the development in Afghanistan and reaffirm the support for the Afghan people without exception, in addition to reaffirming support for women's rights, especially their right to education.
She explained that there are more than 11 million Afghan women and girls in dire need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, noting that the restrictions imposed on women may cost the Afghan economy $1 billion or 5 percent of the gross domestic product, according to the United Nations Development Programme, pointing out that Afghanistan ranks last among 156 countries according to the 2021 Gender Gap Index issued by the World Economic Forum.
HE referred to the efforts made by Indonesia and Qatar, which included the tripartite meeting of scholars from Indonesia, Qatar and Afghanistan in Doha on June. 14, pointing out that such participation with Afghan scholars will be maintained in the future. She stressed the need to encourage progress to establish an inclusive government that respects women's rights.
The representatives of Turkey, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Norway, Britain, the United States, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan thanked the State of Qatar and the Republic of Indonesia for organizing this conference, which sheds light on Afghanistan and put women's education at the top of its agenda.
For her part, HE Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Democracy and Demography Dubravka Suica expressed her support for the Qatar-Indonesia initiative on Afghanistan, stressing the Commission's aspiration to work with partners to enhance Afghan girls and women's access to education at all levels.
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