PETALING JAYA: Suhakam has called on the government to leverage its position as a United Nations Human Rights Council member to urge Afghanistan to uphold the basic rights of its women and girls.
Suhakam chairman Rahmat Mohamad said Putrajaya can also leverage Malaysia’s position as a member state of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to encourage the Afghan administration to govern in an inclusive and respectful manner.
On Tuesday, Afghanistan’s Taliban-run higher education ministry suspended access to universities for female students until further notice, prompting global outrage and protests in some Afghan cities.
Rahmat said excluding women from acquiring education was a form of systematic discrimination and a clear violation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw), of which Afghanistan is a member.
“Such a move also violates Article 9 of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI), which guarantees equal access to education to everyone, including women.
“The CDHRI is adopted by the OIC countries and is constructed based on the teaching of Islam,” he said in a statement today.
Rahmat said Suhakam also supported higher education minister Khaled Nordin’s call for his Afghan counterpart to reconsider Kabul’s move to ban women from its institutions of higher learning.
In an open letter to Neda Nadeem on Tuesday, Khaled said he was saddened by the news and stated that women’s participation in education was an “integral part” of Islamic teachings as well as a fundamental human right.