What it is like being a female student in Afghanistan?!

Manhaz Aliyar at Sayedul Shahada school in West Kabul. Image source: Max Walker/Aljazeera

Mahnaz Aliyar is recent high school graduate in Kabul Afghanistan. She wants to pursuit her career in journalism. She is a change maker, an advocator for women’s Rights, and a regular writer at Afghan Women Writers’s online community. She uses the power of words to tell the unheard stories of Afghan women.

Author: Mahnaz Aliywar

An African proverb says “if we educate a boy we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family, and a whole nation.”By sending a girl to school or University she is far more likely to ensure that her children also receive education. As many claim, investing in a girls education is investing in a nation. Unfortunately there’s a huge difference among boys and girls in families. Gaps in access between male and female students arise in early grades as widen as students move up educational levels.

Even in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, over all enrollment among girls is significantly lower than boys. “Factors that determines ones access to schooling specially higher education in Afghanistan include the parents education, economic status, a child’s gender, and their location”. Regarding this issue, I would like to talk one by one in details. Political instability, when it comes to education in Afghanistan the structure of education system has been destroyed by years of conflict and political instability. “Unfortunately young girls seem to suffer a great deal as a result. Receiving a lower quality education or being out of school all together, and or face various obstacles on way of receiving proper education. Conflict UNICEF has recently reported that approximately 3.7 million children are out of school. 60% of those are girls. That is in every 3 girls attending school or University every day. In fact UNICEF stated that on going conflict and worsening security situation across the country combined with deeply ingrained poverty and discrimination against girls have pushed the rate of out-of-school in Afghanistan.”

Lack of female teachers is also a reason for low enrollment of girls. In half of all Afghanistan provinces less than 20 percent of all teachers are female. In some families it is unacceptable for young girls to be taught by a male teacher. This was an issue for my family as well.

Gender inequality also frequently impacts in some instance. Families see boys’ education to have greater importance than that girls’. About one third of girls are married before age of 18 and are urged to discontinue their education. Mostly the students of High Schools and or Universities. They’re expected to stay at home and become housewives after marriage. This is what is expected from me too.

A large number of girls don’t have formal jobs in the office, but they, typically make money by weaving carpets, or tailoring clothes for customers at home.

Taliban’s dark regime and movement that started war within the country are still present in over 40% in ever districts. Furthermore, “the conflict between Afghan government and the Taliban pushes family away from their homes and creates millions of displaced Afghan citizens”. It effects Afghan youth’s education, especially girls’.

My dreams as a girl whom was born in Afghanistan, is to be the first girl to receive higher education, to empower Afghan women through education in my family. I want to increase the number of highly educated and qualified women and girls in the society..!!!