Dec. 22, 2022

Dear UD Community,

At the University of Delaware, we believe that equal access to education is a basic human right. Sadly, that right is now being denied to women in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have banned them from universities and secondary schools. This shameful action is the latest step in the Taliban’s brutal restrictions on human rights, and it is antithetical to UD’s institutional mission and values.

UD has been a pioneer in global education for a century. We are proud to serve our Afghan students and other marginalized groups as they strive to build a better life through knowledge and scholarship. Most recently, we created the Women’s Initiative in Service and Education, or WISE, in response to the arrival of 14 female Afghan students who fled the oppressive Taliban regime last year. While we are grateful that our students are safe and thriving here, we are heartbroken and angry that millions of other Afghan women and girls — including friends and loved ones of our students — are forbidden from freely pursuing an education in their home country.

In this season of reflection and hope, please join me and my wife, Eleni, in keeping the women and girls of Afghanistan and all those who are denied an education in our thoughts as we work toward greater gender equity around the world.


Dennis Assanis

Anyone who would like to financially support the female Afghan students at UD may do so at this link.

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •