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Call to Action: Young People in Afghanistan Need Our Support
The government of Afghanistan recently announced new regulations that take away the right for young people to sing. The initial mandate forbade girls over age 11 from singing in public. A revised mandate banned all music instruction for boys and girls over age 12. This ban revives dark memories of previous bans on all music, brutally enforced by the Mujahideen and Taliban. It also contradicts the government’s claims about supporting women and clearly violates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our colleagues at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) ask for our help. They believe that active outrage on social media can push the government to change the new policy. The pressure seems to be working: the government is backing away from these new rules, but have not clarified the right to study, sing, and perform music. Please stand in solidarity with their request: “We invite fellow supporters, institutions, organizations, musicians, and all individuals to join us for the #IAmMySong campaign by recording a song in solidarity for Afghan females and for all people to have their voices freely heard.” They request open letters to President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani be posted on social media, expressing outrage at this policy. Post messages and forward/share others. We can move the government all the way to policy support—if we act together.