UNICEF: Girls’ Deprivation of Education Causes $500 Reduction in Afghanistan’s Annual Revenue

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has reported in a new analysis closure of education doors to girls costs Afghanistan 2.5 percent of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

UNICEF has stated that depriving girls in Afghanistan of the right to education has had a devastating effect on the country’s economy, and closing the education doors to girls has cost a 2.5% reduction in Afghanistan’s GDP.

UNICEF stated in the report that if the current cohort of three million girls were able to complete their secondary education and participate in the job market, girls and women would contribute at least US$5.4 billion to Afghanistan’s economy.

“Afghanistan remains one of the most complex and multidimensional worldwide children’s crises,” said Dr. Ayoya. “This is a pivotal juncture for a generation of children in Afghanistan. Girls’ rights are under attack; their childhoods are marred by deprivation. That is why, despite challenges in the operating environment, UNICEF is scaling up, delivering, and achieving results like never before. As we do this, we want to say to the people of Afghanistan: we could not do what we do without your trust and support. We also thank our donors and partners for their generosity to date, but we urge them to continue their lifesaving support to children – especially with winter around the corner.”

“The decision on March 23, not to allow girls back to secondary school was shocking and deeply disappointing. Not only does it violate girls’ fundamental rights to education, but it also exposes them to heightened anxiety, and greater risk of exploitation and abuse, including child trafficking, early and forced marriage,” said UNICEF Afghanistan Representative, Dr. Mohamed Ayoya. “Now, this new analysis clearly articulates the terrible economic impact of this decision on the country’s GDP.”

These statements and statistics are being published by UN-affiliated organizations on the occasion of the one-year domination rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Taliban on the very first day of entering Kabul closed the education doors to girls. Despite the pressure and serious reactions of the international community, the group still stands on its decision of taking girls’ education hostage to gain negotiation power on the tables.