Silenced, Unfortunate Afghan Girls
Education imparts knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that are important for the social, economic and political development for any country. And to promote peace through education, girls should be given an opportunity to learn and explore their talent. Indeed, we all know that until children, especially girls, are educated, our society will not change. Sadly, Afghanistan is a country where a great number of women have their wings clipped up by the society.
Education is the antidote for poverty and war as well as the unfortunate circumstances faced by women in Afghanistan. It is not about a single Afghan girl but many of them and each one as an individual have come across frustration in their lives and, woefully, are still going through the same. Instead of getting educated, they are forced to get married at an early age. Even when education is accessible, it is entirely up to parents who decide whether to send their daughters to school or not.
It is very hard to accept that most parents choose to deny their daughters’ right to education. Simultaneously, the Afghan government has failed to make parents understand about the importance of giving proper education to girls. Traditional social evils like child marriage force many girls out of education.
According to Afghan laws, the minimum age for a girl’s eligibility to get married is 15 with the permission of the girl’s father or a judge. The miserable fact is that the permission of the girl, who is to be married, is not often asked. Instead, rest of the people blindly decides her future.
Child marriages are deeply harmful since it also includes many serious health risks due to early child birth which can prove to be fatal. Girls who marry as a child are also more likely to be the victims of domestic violence than women who marry later. Young girls who can barely differentiate between good and bad are taken as an undue advantage. They become victims of sexual harassment and many sorts of domestic violence. In the process, they miss out on all the fun and adventure of their ‘golden age’.
One thing preventing girls gaining education is the lack of facilities because the country has been in the state of civil war for the past 30 years. Although more Afghan girls in urban areas have started going to school and are getting jobs but sadly, 85 per cent of women in the country are still lacking education and social awareness and only 20 per cent are employed.
There are many ways to show your support for women empowerment in Afghanistan. Every action you take makes a difference, whether it’s sharing facts about their education with others or protesting individually. Education for girls and women empowerment in Afghan community shall remain a dream, “if we don’t take the initiative”.