News & Current Affairs

US Envoy: The New Year To Be Decisive for Afghan and Iranian Women and Girls

By Azeezat Okunlola | Mar 24, 2023
On Tuesday, Rina Amiri, Afghan-born American diplomat and activist serving as the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls and Human Rights, posted an image to Twitter that appeared to have been painted by Afghan schoolgirls. She wished a happy new year, or "Nowruz," to everyone, but especially to the strong women and girls of Afghanistan and Iran who are fighting for their rights and freedom in the face of repressive regimes.
Afghans welcomed in Nowruz 1402 and the start of a new school year despite the fact that the Taliban have been actively working to prevent girls from attending school for the last 547 days.
Everyone from the international community to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the rights organisation and the people of Afghanistan were outraged by the decision. Yet the current administration has made no real efforts in this direction.
The Taliban government, on the other hand, says the restriction is just temporary and will be lifted in the future.
The Taliban, however, have labelled the Persian New Year celebration as "un-Islamic and alien culture," and hence have forbade its observance. It has also been claimed that in some districts of Afghanistan, Taliban leaders have ordered citizens to stay away from entertainment venues on New Year's Eve.
Several Afghan lawmakers living in exile have called the action a flagrant breach and an overt assault on Afghan traditions and values.
Like other nations in the "Nowruz area," Afghanistan's citizens observe the Nowruz festival in a variety of ways.
After the approval of Resolution 64/253 by the United Nations General Assembly in February 2010, Nowruz became an officially recognised United Nations holiday.