“Islam liberated women from ignorant customs that robbed them of their rights and saw them as imperfect human beings that lack free will,” Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb said in a Tuesday post on Twitter on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child.
“On the ‘International Day of the Girl Child’, we call for all necessary measures to guarantee girls and young women their Islamically protected rights to education and dignity,” he added.
The message came amid reports that the Taliban have restricted women and girls’ access to education in the new school year in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also appealed to the Taliban to stop breaking their promises to allow women to work and girls to have access to education.
Guterres pointed to promises by the Taliban since the takeover to protect the rights of women, children, minority communities and former government employees – especially the possibility of women working and girls being able to get the same education as boys.
“I am particularly alarmed to see promises made to Afghan women and girls by the Taliban being broken,” he said, stressing that “their ability to learn, work, own assets, and to live with rights and dignity will define progress.”
The Taliban overran most of Afghanistan as US and NATO forces were in the final stages of their chaotic withdrawal from the country after 20 years. They entered the capital, Kabul, on Aug. 15 without any resistance from the Afghan army or the country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, who fled.