The new school year will begin in Afghanistan on March 23, and for the first time since Taliban rule, women and girls will return to their classrooms without fear of reprisal. This week five schools in Kabul received, from Pakistan and UNICEF, stationery for 20,000 students and blackboards, and textbooks for 200 teachers. Millions of textbooks that will be used by Afghan students are now being published in Pakistan, and USAID will supply $9 million worth of textbooks through the University of Nebraska.
Over the course of more than two decades of war, many of Afghanistan’s schools were destroyed, and schools are still in need of basic supplies. Still, in Afghanistan there is optimism. “Through education we can change society,” said Afghan Minister for Women’s Affairs Dr. Sima Samar. “It’s difficult but not impossible.”
To find our how you can help Afghan women and girls receive desperately needed education and health care services, join the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid.
Media Resources: UN Wire, 3/14/02; UN Population Fund, 2/19/02; Feminist Majority Foundation