The Right To Education: A Fundamental Human Right For Afghan Women – OpEd


Education is widely recognized as a fundamental human right, essential for individuals to lead fulfilling and empowered lives. Unfortunately, in certain regions of the globe, especially for women, access to education is not guaranteed. The recent restoration of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan has exacerbated the longstanding obstacles that Afghan women have encountered in gaining an education.

As far as women’s rights go, the United Nations has deemed Afghanistan to be “the most oppressive nation in the world.” Historically, women in Afghanistan have had fewer academic possibilities. From 1996 until 2001, when they were deposed by the United States, the Taliban forbade women to go to school and punished any who disobeyed with death. While there has been considerable improvement in this area in recent years, cultural prejudices and a lack of resources continue to be major barriers to women’s education in Afghanistan.

The Taliban’s takeover and other recent events in Afghanistan have posed an even greater danger to girls’ access to school there. Women’s education and public participation may once again be restricted if the Taliban are successful in enforcing their stringent interpretation of Sharia law.

The present situation among Afghanistan’s female students

Just 37% of Afghan women can write and read, and that number drops significantly lower in rural regions, according to UNICEF. Cultural views that value men’s education above women’s education, a lack of infrastructure and resources, and security concerns are just a few of the many reasons why girls may not be able to go to school in Afghanistan.

There have been claims that female schools have been shut down and that female instructors have been fired after the Taliban regained control. Fearing for their girls’ safety and future chances under the Taliban government, many families are unwilling to send them to school.

The importance of education for Afghan women

Education has numerous benefits for individuals, communities, and societies. The economic, health, and independence of Afghan women may all benefit greatly from an education. There is evidence that educating women benefits economies on a personal and societal level. Women with greater levels of education are more likely to participate in the labor market, earn better wages, and increase their household’s and community’s standard of living. Women’s education has the potential to alleviate poverty and boost Afghanistan’s shaky economy.

There are significant health advantages to educating women as well. Women with higher levels of education are more likely to prioritize their health and the health of their families by accessing medical treatment. Women who have completed their educations have a greater chance of improving their own and their family’s health.

For Afghanistan to progress, women must take part in public and political life. Afghan women and girls should be given equal opportunities to reach their full potential and advance their nation. Maybe most significantly, education can enable women to assume leadership roles in their families and communities and work for their own personal and professional objectives. Women with higher levels of education are less likely to be victims of discrimination and more likely to work to improve their own and their communities’ conditions.

Impediments to Afghan women’s access to education

Cultural norms that discourage girls and women from pursuing higher education are major obstacles for Afghan girls and women. Many conservative and traditional households hold the view that females belong in the home and have no business receiving an education. This view is especially prevalent in less-populated regions where girls and women face more obstacles to obtaining an education. Girls who choose to enroll in school or continue their education run the risk of being bullied, discriminated against, or even physically assaulted.

The lack of resources, such as infrastructure and financing, is also a significant obstacle for female students in Afghanistan. Classrooms, bathrooms, and water fountains are all things that many Afghan schools lack. Particularly in rural regions, where schools have generally located some distance from home, this makes it challenging for girls and women to attend school. The lack of educational resources in Afghanistan has been exacerbated by the government’s and foreign organizations’ inability to get sufficient money.

Afghanistan’s prolonged war and turmoil have also had a major effect on the country’s educational system. Armed groups have attacked schools, resulting in the destruction of schools and the forced relocation of instructors and pupils. With the Taliban’s history of suppressing women’s rights, worries regarding the safety of girls and women who pursue education have increased since the group’s return to power.

Promoting Afghan women’s access to education as part of the international community

Nevertheless, progress has been sluggish because of continued security problems, economic instability, and cultural impediments in Afghanistan, despite the government’s best attempts to increase women’s access to education in recent years. Help from outside is essential if Afghanistan is to make educational gains, especially for women. Scholarships for females’ education, teacher training, and other infrastructural needs may all be met by international organizations. Donor nations may also fund the construction of schools and provide them with essentials like textbooks and computers.

Together, NGOs on a global scale and in local communities can spread the word about why it’s important to invest in girls and women’s education. Campaigns to encourage girls to enroll in school, gender-sensitive teacher training, and other initiatives to fight cultural attitudes that prevent girls from going to school are all examples of what may be done.

Promoting Afghan women’s access to higher education may be a joint international/local community effort. International organizations may learn more about the cultural and socioeconomic variables that affect women’s access to education by forming partnerships with local NGOs and community leaders. 

Trust and cooperation between global institutions and domestic communities may also be bolstered via such alliances. International organizations have a better chance of success in their efforts to promote education for women if they form relationships with local groups to create strategies that are appropriate to the needs of those areas.

A good education is essential to the growth and stability of every community, and so is a basic human right. For Afghan women, who have been traditionally excluded from formal education owing to cultural and social conventions, this is of paramount importance. Women’s economic independence, employment prospects, and political engagement may all benefit from increased levels of education.

Educating Afghan women has a wide range of positive effects. Women who get higher levels of education are more likely to advocate for legislation that advances gender parity, engage in the workforce, and makes positive contributions to their communities. Poverty may be reduced and economic stability can be enhanced via education.

Muhammad Wasama Khalid is a Correspondent and Researcher at Global Affairs. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at National Defense University. His interests include history, politics, and current affairs. He has been published in the London Institute of Peace and Research, South Asian Journal, Diplomatic Insight, International Policy Digest, Sri Lanka Guardian, Global Village Space, Global Defense Insight, Global Affairs, And Modern Diplomacy. He tweets at @Wasama Khalid and can be reached at [email protected]

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