Stories from the field
- The gift of education
Education is often not an option for many women and girls in Afghanistan. According to Government figures, only 26 per cent of Afghanistan’s population is literate, and among women the rate is only 12 per cent.
A third of girls marry before 18, and once engaged or married, many girls are compelled to drop out of school.
But many families are also fighting desperately to educate their daughters in the face of enormous obstacles, and deserve support.
Act for Peace’s partner in Afghanistan, CWS-A’s Girls Education Projects incorporate trade and skills-based classes along with the regular school curriculum. 60 skills-based classes are offered to high school girls on topics such as embroidery, painting, drawing, health and hygiene, glass painting, stitching and dyeing. These are conducted across participating schools each year.
This gives girls the chance to learn vocation skills and empowers them with the ability to earn an income in the future. Debates, speech delivery and participating in school level competitions are also offered to help build confidence and self-esteem in girls in the Nangarhar and Laghman provinces of Afghanistan.
Mahrukh* is one such girl: “In Afghanistan, women make up only 16% of the workforce. As more girls are educated, we need more roles for women. To help girls at my school find employment, Act for Peace’s partner here, Community World Service Asia (CWS-A), introduced a range of skill based classes to our school. Of the courses offered, I took up embroidery.
* Mahrukh’s name has been changed to protect her identity as a minor.