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Human Rights Organizations Warn of Houthis' Obstruction of Girls Education in Yemen

Human Rights Organizations Warn of Houthis' Obstruction of Girls Education in Yemen

Friday, 2 December, 2022 - 10:15
The seminar on "Girls' Education in the Islamic World" in Cairo (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Arab and regional human rights organizations warned that the Houthis in Yemen, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Boko Haram in Nigeria obstructed girls' education.

Coinciding with the UN's awareness campaign of "16 Days against Gender-Based Violence," the organizations held a seminar on "Girls' Education in the Islamic World" in Cairo.

The seminar included representatives from Pakistan's Malala Fund, the National Council for Women in Egypt, the Arab Women Organization, the Women Development Organization of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the International Islamic Center for Population Studies and Research, affiliated with al-Azhar University.

A recent study by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights, presented during the panel, shed light on Houthi practices in Yemen and the methods of Boko Haram and Taliban.

The study noted that the "political use of the Islamic religion" and the employment of religious texts contrary to the Islamic true values, which led to the production of populist discourse, contributed to affecting girls' opportunities in education.

The Middle East representative of the Malala Fund, Rana al-Houjeiri, stressed that it is time to correct the concepts of the Islamic religion in some countries that prevent girls' education.

Houjeiri announced that the OIC and al-Azhar partnered on this issue, calling for an end to the persecution of girls in Afghanistan.

The Director General of the Arab Women Organization, Fadia Kiwan, warned against igniting strife and distorting the Islamic religion by some extremist organizations and groups, urging all concerned parties to put an end to violence against women, child marriage, and girls' school dropout.

Head of the Egyptian Center for Women Rights Nehad Abul Komsan said that the conference aimed to enact policies that limit girls' school dropout and spread the correct religious teachings which help develop countries and increase the chances of girls obtaining higher-paying jobs.

It explained that this would increase family income and reflect positively on the standard of living.

Abul Komsan told Asharq Al-Awsat that al-Azhar issued a document on women's rights in 2013, but it needs more activation, noting that the Center published a two-year study on girls' education in the Islamic world, which al-Azhar reviewed and praised.

The American Center for Justice (ACJ) monitored, in a report last year, the violations of education in Yemen between 2014 and 2020, stating that more than 170,000 male and female teachers in areas under Houthi control have not been receiving their salaries regularly in the last five years.

The report showed that Houthis committed a series of violations against teachers, including dismissing 286 teachers from their jobs, displacing them from their villages, homes, and schools, and replacing them with their members.

The militia made fundamental changes in the school curricula based on racism, sectarianism, and religious incitement, noted the report.

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