The recent attack on Afghan schoolgirls outside their Qalai Saeeda girls’ school in Pul Alam (near Kabul) has now left many parents fearful to allow their daughters to continue on with their educations.
According to local officials, a large number of female students have been reported absent since the June 12th shootings where two schoolgirls were left dead and four more injured (including one teacher).
Though no one has been arrested in connection with the shootings, Taliban insurgents are highly suspected as they have made numerous threats in opposition to women’s education. Since the fall of Taliban rule in 2001, Afghanistan has seen a great increase in school enrollment.
According to the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), forty percent of Afghanistan’s school-aged girls are attending classes and the country has more than six million children enrolled in schools across the country.
Though Afghanistan’s education system still has a long way to go, the inclusion of girls in the last few years is very encouraging. Many fear that the recent attacks on schoolgirls will slow or reverse the progress made.
UNICEF reports fourteen attacks on schools in Afghanistan in the last two months, mostly arson. There have also been reports that the school involved in the June 12th shootings had been attacked three months prior when it was hit by a rocket and arson was attempted.
So how will progress continue if parents and students are too fearful to take part in education? Many of the parents in Pul Alam are calling for heightened security and government support until they send their daughters back to school.
In an interview with the United Nations news service (IRIN) Saeed Agha, a local father of one of the bereaved wants to send his second daughter to school but naturally has reservations saying, “the government should change the current option of ?life or education’ for our daughters.”
What do you think can be done in Afghanistan to protect a girl’s right to education?
Do you think the latest attacks on Afghanistan schoolgirls will be a great setback for recent progress made within the school system?
war never made education and learning easy
I agree with the first comment, we cannot completely understand the situation, and to try to change Afghanistan's views, or change their ways would be ethnocentrism. We as a nation have customs that they too i'm sure are wary of. This saddens me that these women could not carry out day-to-day things for fear of getting hurt. We in America take for granted even the smallest of luxuries. We can not even begin the realize the turmoil these women face every day. They must live in constant fear that something will happen to them. I cannot even imagine living life like that.
It's a shame that instead of focusing on Afghanistan, Mr. Bush decided to spend millions sending our troops to Iraq for a war that the majority disagree with and that far too many have died for. Now the country he vowed to help is falling back into the hands of the terrorists and the civilians are in danger once again. Hopefully when it's time to elect a new president, the people will vote for someone who chooses to help those in need instead of wasting their time elsewhere. That said... Afghanistan isn't the only country to inhabit women who are opressed on a daily basis. If we want to help women get further in their education then we need to focus on the countries where they suffer as well. There are still many countries where women are killed for being raped. I'm not even going to pretend to know how to help these women, but I do believe that something needs to be done. All those countries who believe themselves to be underpopulated... I just read the blog here about Russia giving rewards to those who have babies 9 months from now... how about instead of encouraging people to bring more babies into the world that they can't take care of so that they can earn a brand new tv, they allow women to come to their country and make a plan to help them. How about helping the people in this world who need help before bringing more into the world if you're just trying to populate your country? Okay... I'll get off my soapbox now.
The father, whose dilemma is to send his daughter to school and risk her life or to keep her home and uneducated, is deeply and profoundly sad. Those who claim to think globally and then want to pull our troops out of the middle east are shallow-minded, vociferous reprobates and have little empathy for the human condition. Ridding the world of masogynists,terrorists, and religious fanatics should be our goal and our obligation as a freedom-loving people.
After 30-40 years of living with the fruits of advancements in women's rights I think we women in this country take for granted and really do not understand what women in many countries around the world have to go through just to be able to go to work or school everyday and even to be able to just make it through the day alive. We are so blessed in this country. We still have along way to go in some respects but I could not imagine having to live the day to day life of a young girl or a woman in Afghanistan or even say Sudan.
This article provides more justification for why we have a responsibility to bring stability to the Middle East. It's tragic that this is seen merely as a political fight between our two parties here in the U.S. Parents all over the world love their children and will protect them at all cost. We have a moral responsibility to help.
The SheSpeaks blog is one of my favorite parts of the website. They offer a lot of interesting articles, news, studies, and I love reading women's feedback on the topics-- even when the topic is a sad one like this one. It's hard to believe that right to an education (for boys AND girls)isn't the norm around the world even today.
This is such a hard subject to broach. Afghanistan's culture is so vastly different than an Americans. Their country has been ruled by fear for so long that it has become a mainstay. It is very strange to see in the 21st century any country still trying to oppress the education of women. In Afghanistan this oppression is done by the murder of young women. This is very sad. A parent?s natural instinct is to protect our children and keep them from harm. What would I do in the same situation? My initial reaction would be to hold them from school teach them at home in secret maybe. But in the bigger picture what message does this send to the Taliban, but that perhaps their tactics are working and that fear is the ultimate checkmate. I'm not sure that their is a easy answer to how to protect a Afghan girl's right to an education, The parents and the daughters must stand firm and simply continue to send their children to school it is an enormous responsibility they are asked to handle with grave consequences but if they are successful they will provide a more secure world for their daughters and grand-daughters.