Zarmina felt frustrated by the deeply-held belief in her community that there is little need to educate women and girls.

“Our community firmly believes that girls were born to stay within their home,” she explains.

In Afghanistan, economic constraints and long distances to schools are just a few of the other factors keeping girls at home and away from the classroom.

But Zarmina wanted more for her daughters and the other young women and girls of the community.

Taking a Stand for Women and Girls

Attending school is a basic human right for girls and boys, and one of the most powerful tools for eliminating poverty. Photo: Community World Service Asia

Along with fourteen other women, Zarmina participated in gender equality training run by PWS&D’s partners in Afghanistan.

“We learned about child rights and the negative impacts of early marriage,” Zarmina reports. “It was after the training that we realized it is our responsibility to enroll our children, boys and girls, in school.”

Zarmina felt empowered to take steps to get other families motivated to send their children to school.

That’s when she and a few other mothers started a committee to share what they had learned during their training. Together, they helped mothers, fathers and village leaders understand that attending school is a basic human right for girls and boys, and one of the most powerful tools for eliminating poverty.

Before Zarmina’s committee started their work, 70 per cent of families in the village resisted girl’s education. As a result of their advocacy, this number has been reduced to about 15 per cent.

Because of Zarmina’s courage and determination, something that once seemed unthinkable is possible—empowering girls to become leaders and help communities prosper peacefully.

“We will continue working for this cause,” says Zarmina. “We hope that one day there will be no child out of school, not only in our community, but in the entire country.”

Respond With Us!

In the struggle to improve access to education in Afghanistan, cultural norms that limit opportunities for women and girls are significant obstacles. Together, we are advocating for the right to an education. Help send more girls to school in Afghanistan.