“Today the Free Women Writers team gathered a group of artists and we painted murals about the right to education around Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh. The murals are part of our #LetMeGoToSchool campaign to support girls’ education in Afghanistan.
“We drew two murals today and we are determined on continuing our work and taking our message to various parts of the province. This is especially important and effective in Mazar-e-Sharif, where despite relative security many families prevent their daughters from going to school due to fear of insulting tradition and facing community pressure.
“I want to be come a pilot.”
Let’s not cut our daughters’ wings.
Despite gains in education in Afghanistan, a majority of Afghan girls are still deprived of educational opportunities. A recent report from Human Rights Watch shows that even today only 37 percent of adolescent girls are literate compared to 66 percent of adolescent boys. Among adult Afghan women literacy rate is less than 20 percent. This is partly due to security issues, such as Taliban attacks on schools, but lack of female teachers, schools for girls, transportation, and harmful traditions such as early marriage also contribute to the issue. In thirty-four provinces in Afghanistan, less than ten percent of teachers are women. This in itself is a major obstacle to girls going to school in conservative communities where interactions between men and women are seen as improper.
“When we were painting murals, many people came up to us and thanked us for our work while some others said we shouldn’t be painting women on the walls. A 22-year-old woman looked at our mural and said, “I hope my father sees this mural and lets me go to university”. A working boy who seemed to be about 11 years old joined us in painting. He was excited to be part of our work and even as his friend insisted that they should leave, he stayed. As we were preparing to wrap up, an older woman came over and said, ‘why are you making your hands dirty and wasting your time. Afghanistan will never change.’ This broke my heart, however I kept thinking that if the generations before me had the opportunity to make their hands dirty and work for education, I wouldn’t have to do so today,” Free Women Writers member Roya Saberzada who organized the event wrote.
Afghanistan has a long way to go before every child has access to education in safe spaces. One of the areas where young people, women and our allies can help is by contributing to change in mindsets. Join our campaign in defense of education for all by sharing our messages with the world using these hashtags:
Read original post by Free Women Writers HERE.