“If you educate a boy, you educate one boy, whereas if you educate a girl, you educate her entire family and community.”-- Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina during the UNESCO Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education forum in 2011
As I had mentioned in a previous blog post, building schools in Afghanistan has become a governmental effort for children as a way to prevent child recruitment by armed groups. But what does this say about the educational system in Afghanistan? Is there a lack of education? If there is a lack of education for children, what about education for the women of Afghanistan?
According to a case study conducted by the BBC World Service, from 1996 to 2001 the Taliban was in control of Afghanistan. During that time, the women of Afghanistan were banned from being educated and schools were destroyed. For these reasons, Afghanistan remains a country with the lowest rate of educated people. The United Nations joined UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) joined together after the fall of the Taliban control in later 2001 to take charge of the situation. Since then, the education of women and girls of Afghanistan has become a governmental and global effort with the addition of new schools and a passion for education.
Although the Taliban no longer has governmental control over Afghanistan, the armed group still makes an effort to stop the education of women and children. During the 2010 school terror attacks throughout the world, it was believed that the school terror attacks that took place in Afghanistan may have been politically intimidated as a way to oppose the education of women. Proof would be in the 2009 BBC news story that reported several incidents when the Kanju Chowk Elementary School was wrecked by Taliban militants. Teachers would receive daily death threats from the Taliban, but the teachers and students were not backing down from their passion to educate and be educated.
And their passion has not gone unnoticed. In May of 2011,Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, took one step further by launching UNESCO's Global Partnership for Girls and Women's Education. This initiative will further enhance the global effort to educate women and girls around the world and defeat illiteracy. With nearly 3 million women and girls now attending primary, secondary, and universities the fight for educating the women of Afghanistan has been bettered.
Why, you might ask, is this such a major issue the for women and girls of Afghanistan? Maybe it's for the same reason many countries deny women the same right as men: for the fear that women may gain more power within the community, city, culture, or county. What's wrong with have a more literate country when everyone has equal rights? Nothing. It can lead to bigger and better things, including major improvements around the country. As ridiculous as it seems to me, all I can do is help the UNESCO initiative and inform you all about this issue.
Some people have to fight for their right to be educated.
To read the complete National Education Strategic Plan for Afghanistan, click the link below. http://www.iiep.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/News_And_Events/pdf/2010/Afghanistan_NESP.pdf
Keisha Douglas is an independent filmmaker who specializes in music videos. When she is not filming, she spends much of her time blogging and freelance writing. She is the voice behind Mito Vox, an entertainment & etc. blog. To learn more about her freelance services visit her website. View all her Film Annex posts on her WebTv Channel.