Senate debates

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Education in Afghanistan

3:38 pm

Photo of Lyn AllisonLyn Allison (Victoria, Australian Democrats) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—
notes the reported comments by President Karzai, on 8 March 2006, that ‘From fear of terrorism, from threats of the enemies of Afghanistan, today as we speak, some 100,000 Afghan children who went to school last year, and the year before last, do not go to school’;
notes the report by Human Rights Watch, Lessons in Terror: Attacks on Education in Afghanistan, which reports that:
attacks against schools, teachers and students in Afghanistan have risen markedly in late 2005 and the first half of 2006, with more attacks having been reported in the first half of 2006 than in all of 2005, including at least 17 assassinations of teachers and education officials, and more than 204 attacks on teachers, students and schools which have led to hundreds of schools being shut down or destroyed,
the majority of primary-school-age girls in Afghanistan remain out of school and, at the secondary level, gross enrolment rates were only 5 per cent for girls in 2004, compared with 20 per cent for boys, and
attacks on education have a disproportionate effect on the education of girls as some attacks are motivated by ideological opposition to girls’ education specifically, and parents often have a lower threshold for pulling their daughters out of school than boys, given greater social restrictions on girls’ movements and legitimate concerns about sexual harassment and violence; and
calls on the Federal Government to use gender equality in access to education as one measure of the success of efforts by the Afghan Government, supported by the international community, to rebuild security and stability in Afghanistan.

Question agreed to.