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Women's Education in Afghanistan

Rachael Swokowski, Natalia Langner, Lucy Lebanyi
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on 12 April 2014

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Transcript of Women's Education in Afghanistan

Women's Education in Afghanistan
So Why Is This Important?
Historical Background
Pre-Taliban
Taliban
Today
Women received right to vote 1920s
1960s constitution specifies equality for all persons
Rights limited in comparison to men
Afforded an education
Women comprised:
70% of schoolteachers
50% of government positions & college students
40% of doctors
1977 - 15% of legislative body
Seized power in Kabul in 1996
Ruled from 1996-2001 until invasion
Many restrictions including:
No working outside home
Full burqa covering
No access to healthcare
Ban on public gatherings/media
Painted windows
Strictly no access to education
Humanitarians jailed and/or deported
High maternal and child mortality rates
Rampant poverty
Skyrocketed rates of depression/suicide
"Restricting women's access to work is an attack on women today. Eliminating women's access to education is an assault on women tomorrow."
2001 U.S. invades and overthrows Taliban
Sets up interim government
"provisional tent-schools and back-to-school catch up programs"
2004 new constitution
Karzai fails to implement reform
Underground Taliban movement
Starting in 2010 Karzai makes increasing concessions with Taliban
Taliban frequently bribed to stop violence
On-Going Attacks
"Now it's fear and growing extremism that are making parents keep children at home."
So How Do We Fix It?
UDHR (1948) specifies:
Article 19: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion . . . without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. "
Article 2: 3) "Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country."
Article 26: 1) "Everyone has the right to education."
Afghanistan Constitution
2008 Education Law - "basic right for all"
Violations of Law
Key Stakeholders
Poverty - 41.2%
Early and/or forced marriage - 39.4%
Insecurity - 32.4%
Lack of family support - 31.8%
Lack of female teachers - 26.4%
Long distance to school - 23.7%
Poor quality of education - 16.4%
No girls’ only school - 12.6%
Harassment - 10.9%
Lack of community support - 9.9%
Radical Islamic ideas
Obstacles
Macro level:
Protect girls' education in political settlements
Protect current girls' schools
Increase capacity development for future schools
Change leadership and/or leadership attitudes especially in regards to Islam
Micro level:
Create educational programs outside of school
Educate and retain more female teachers with quality education
Build more schools in rural areas
More rural and local buy-in and less Westernization for sustainability
Recommendations
Girls:
Have the most to lose and gain
More likely to participate in the workforce and government
More likely to have fewer children
Better quality of life
Families (especially low-income families):
Financially better off
Can provide better care and attention for children
Government:
More favor with international community
Increased economic prosperity
Economic investment
Political stability
“Investing in girls’ education is critical to addressing girls’ needs and concerns as well as human rights. It has been shown that girls who go to school and stay in school are more likely to find jobs as adults, get married older, have fewer children, and are able to earn more for their families and communities. Beyond protective security measures, the only way to ensure women's human rights in Afghanistan and to truly empower women in the long run is through offering primary, secondary, and higher education that will foster literacy, free-thinking, and knowledge of international human rights standards.”
“Between 2007 and 2009, the Taliban and its allies have bombed, burned, or shut down more than 640 schools"
Grenades kill 100 at all-girls school
Girls' schools have to have armed guards
Water and air have to be checked daily
Acid and gas attacks
School girls gunned down
Capacity development destroyed
De jure vs. De facto access
Families to afraid to send daughters to school
Still only 12.6% of women literate
Lack of Opportunity
In the News
Full transcript