KABUL -- Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has urged Afghan parents to send their daughters to school.
Karzai made the remarks during a radio address on September 6, ahead of the beginning of the new academic year.
The new school year kicks off in 13 provinces, mostly in southern and eastern parts of the country.
Girls make up some 35 percent of the students in Afghan schools, but concerns over a lack of security have prompted many parents not to allow their daughters to go to school.
Karzai also called on militants not to attack schools.
Dozens of schools have been torched by militants, who also frequently target teachers and students.
Afghan officials say some 400 schools have been closed due to a lack of security in southern and eastern provinces, including Kandahar, Khost, and Paktika.