#RaiseAPen campaign passes important milestones at European Parliament

06.07.21

Our campaign, aimed at supporting Afghan women’s pressing request to a continued right to education, passed two important milestones at the European Parliament recently.

  1. The EP adopted a resolution, endorsing amongst other key issues, that “European support will remain conditional on preserving and building upon the achievement of the past 20 years…that girls’ right to education, which is a great achievement of the last 20 years, should be undisputed. The linkage to EU funds is crucial and has the potential to impact the future of millions of Afghan girls and women. Here is the full resolution, please check articles 16 & 17.
  2. MEP Maria Arena hosted a meeting of the EP Human Rights sub-committee jointly with the Committee on Foreign Affairs and in association with the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan with the participation of prominent Afghan women including Sima SAMAR, human rights advocate, former Minister of Women’s Affairs, and former Chair of Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, Fawzia KOOFI, member of Afghan Peace Negotiation Team, Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and Metra MEHRAN, young social entrepreneur and co-founder of the Feminine Perspectives Movement. One message resonated strongly: “Our fight is to use pens, our minds and the strength of our words”.
EU HRVP Josep Borrell

MMM thanks Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of EU Commission, who at the Plenary session, raised his pen in solidarity and said: “… the education for women is the basis of a civilised society… when you educate a woman, you educate the family… the multiplier effect for women in education is impressive. And when I see these young girls raising their pencils, I think all of us, we should raise our pencils and our engagement with Afghan people and especially with the Afghan women.” Here is our video that inspired these words.

On the occasion of that important debate at the EU parliament, Maria Arena, Chair of the Human Rights EP Sub Committee (top picture), raised her own pen in solidarity with the campaign.

Our thanks also go to Petras Austrevicius, Chair of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan who is supporting this campaign. These were highly symbolic #RaiseAPen moments. Our gratitude goes to them and to all MEP’s who voiced their support for Afghan women and girls.

These are important steps in the right direction and should stimulate all of us to continue working together, ensuring that all girls in Afghanistan enjoy education, including higher education, without fear of life or persecution.

The #RaiseApen initiative has always been about raising Afghan voices asking to secure this basic human right. It is our collective duty now to make certain they don’t lose this right or the gains they have so courageously made in the last two decades.

Additional information on the #RaiseAPen Campaign is available here

 

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