Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan as she left school in 2012, urged the United Nations council to recognize "girls' education is a powerful tool for building peace and security" and protect Afghan women and girls.
"I raised my voice for every girl's right to go to school. I saw a gunman stop my school bus, call my name, and fire a bullet at me. I was 15 years old," she told the Security Council on Thursday. "This is a story that many Afghan girls may share if we do not act."
Malala was addressing a session on the situation in Afghanistan.
“I saw my home transformed from a place of peace to a place of fear in just three years,” she said.
“This is a story that many Afghan girls may share if we do not act,” she warned, calling on the Council to send a clear and unequivocal message to the Taliban that upholding the rights of women and girls is a precondition of any working relationship.
Earlier, Deborah Lyons, UN Special Representative and head of the UN’s assistance mission in Afghanistan, said the world will urgently need to devise a “modus vivendi” to allow billions of dollars in frozen donor funds, to flow into Afghanistan’s fragile economy, the press release quoted her as saying.
“These scenes, watched around the world … show that the Taliban have won power, but not yet the confidence of all the Afghan people,” said Ms. Lyons.
“Those who hoped for, and urged, inclusivity will be disappointed,” she said, noting that no women, minority representatives or non-Taliban individuals have been named as part of the de facto government.
She also expressed concern that despite the Taliban's assurances of assuring the rights of women, there are new reports that women are being prohibited from working or appearing in public places without male chaperones.
A high-level international funding conference is slated for 13 September to help donors meet the country’s rising needs