During my recent trip to Afghanistan, a group of girls were attacked walking to school in the southern province of Kandahar. This is a province is currently one of the most unsafe provinces in Afghanistan and is in danger of slipping entirely under the rule of the Taliban. Last November, 11 girls and 4 teachers were attacked with acid by three men on motorcycles. One injured so badly that she was sent out of the country for her burn treatment.
Months before the attack there had been posters placed around local mosques stating, “Don’t Let Your Daughters Go to School.”
A couple weeks ago the New York Times reported that nearly all the girls had returned to school, as had most of all the other female students.
THIS is bravery. This shows the value of education above all else. Girls willing to endure physical assault or even death in order to go to school. Families willing to accept their daughter’s and the entire family’s danger, in the belief of education.
I had heard of alternative forms of education cropping up in areas where the Taliban was cracking down. The most common being various forms of home schooling for small groups of girls. Creative to be sure, but unfortunate that this is the only option – education in secret.
These girls are standing up to the Taliban, and others that would continue to repress women’s rights, and proving their strength every day they make the walk to school in their school uniform. If only we could all be as brave.
photo by Di Zinno