A New Scourge to Afghan Women: COVID-19 Oxfam Briefing Note

Photo: Halima stands outside of her traditionally built home she shares with her large family in semi-urban Balkh province, Afghanistan.

“Women and girls worldwide are disproportionately affected by war, conflict, social issues and health crises compared to men1 . This is especially true for Afghan women who are more burdened by decades of conflict, food insecurity, and economic inequality. Patriarchal norms limit their movement, access to basic rights such as education and health, control over resources, decisions affecting their lives and the right to live free from violence. COVID-19 is proving to be no different and is exacerbating the inequalities Afghan women face. “- Excerpt from A New Scourge to Afghan Women: COVID-19 Oxfam Briefing Note

Architect’s life’s work culminates in Afghanistan school for girls

“They say never to go into business with your best friend,” laughs architect David Miller. But despite this advice, Miller says the almost 40 years he spent working with Robert Hull was the creative partnership of a lifetime.
[…] The two men’s partnership lives on in one last collaboration, the Gawhar Khatoon Girls’ School” read more .
–The Seattle Times, October 8, 2015

Photo: A classroom in the Gohar Khatoon Girls’ School in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, which opened in June 2015. (Nic Lehoux)

Dare to Educate Afghan Girls | Shabana Basij-Rasikh

Imagine a country where girls must sneak out to go to school, with deadly consequences if they get caught learning. This was Afghanistan under the Taliban, and traces of that danger remain today. 22-year-old Shabana Basij-Rasikh runs a school for girls in Afghanistan. She celebrates the power of a family’s decision to believe in their daughters — and tells the story of one brave father who stood up to local threats.

Brookings Institution: Expanding and improving the quality of girls’ education in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has the highest level of gender disparity in primary education in the world, with only 71 girls in primary school for every 100 boys. Only 21 percent of girls complete primary education,largely due to cultural barriers, such as early marriage and a lack of female teachers. Further barriers are embodied in long and dangerous routes to schools and a lack of sanitation facilities and surrounding walls once there…read more

A New Day in Afghanistan

GWBPC. Mrs. Laura Bush meets with the First Lady of Afghanistan at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Photo by Grant MIller

Mrs. Ghani stressed the start of a new day in Afghanistan. While keenly aware of Afghanistan’s ongoing challenges, she said too many news reports reaching the West focus on failures, rather than the many successes taking place inside a country that only 13 years ago began to emerge from years of occupation, war, and the harsh rule of the Taliban…read more

Learn More About Educating Girls in Afghanistan

The following resources provide more information and background related to Sahar’s work in Afghanistan.

Early Marriage Reports & Resources

To learn more about the child and early marriage in Afghanistan and other areas of the world, we suggest these resources:

The United Nations Reports 

The following reports provide excellent insights into the overall living conditions in Afghanistan and Specific data related to women’s issues.

Sahar Resources

The following reports are prepared by Sahar’s Staff in Seattle and in Afghanistan. These reports are on different aspects of the work Sahar does and the causes it tackles.

Ministry of Education in Afghanistan

Sahar works closely with the Afghan Ministry of Education to build capacity for girls education. Learn more about the work of the MoE on their website and in this UNESCO report.

  • Link to Ministry of Education website
  • UNESCO – On the Road to Resilience: Capacity Development with the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan – 2011

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