Nobel Peace Prize awardee Malala Yousafzai, in an open letter published on Sunday, 17 October, called on the Taliban government in Afghanistan to permit the resumption of schools for girls in the country.
"To the Taliban authorities... Reverse the de facto ban on girls' education and reopen girls' secondary schools immediately," says the letter, which has been penned by a group of activists, including Yousafzai.
The Taliban ministry of education had permitted schools to reopen for boys from 18 September. Schooling for girls, on the other hand, remains halted.
Malala Yousafzai Appeals to Leaders of Muslim Countries, G20 Nations
"Afghanistan is now the only country in the world that forbids girls' education. Leaders everywhere must take urgent, decisive action to get every Afghan girl back in school," Yousafzai wrote in the letter.
Yousafzai, as a school student, had been shot by the Pakistani Taliban over her campaigning for girls' education.
"To the leaders of Muslim countries, religion does not justify preventing girls from going to school. Make this clear to Taliban leaders by issuing public statements on the Islamic imperative for girls’ complete education."Malala Yousafzai's Open Letter
The women's rights and education advocate further appealed to the G20 countries to urge the Taliban to allow girls to attend school.
"To the leaders of the G20 nations, discussing the importance of education isn't enough. Use the G20 Leaders' Declaration to call on the Taliban to allow girls to go to school and provide urgent funding to support a coordinated education plan for all Afghan children," the letter states.
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi, who had visited Kabul last week, has said that the Taliban education minister has assured him that Afghan girls will be allowed to attend secondary schools "very soon," news agency AP reported.