Afghan Women’s Mission – Educating Women

“Today, in Afghanistan… thousands of women, they’ve had to go to beggary or into prostitution… it’s not a normal country anymore… for people and also for women in particular it’s a real hell.” — Sahar Saba, RAWA, 2001

Today, even as Afghanistan slowly rebuilds itself after three decades of ongoing war, Afghans are still suffering from the consequences of long drawn wars that cared more about power struggle than its people. Not-for-profit organizations such as Afghan Women’s Mission (AWM) are still fighting for humanitarian causes in Afghanistan and one such area is in the provision of education for Afghan women and girls, including men. This ongoing fight for education has the aim of restoring education for Afghan women and girls again, as well as men, which will go a long way in enabling the next generation to restore their nation and ensure future economic, political stability.

Working closely with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), AWM solicits donations from around the world. These monies go into their many programs, and education is one of their key areas of concern.

The AWM was founded by a group of Americans and is currently based in the United States. Made up of all-volunteers and founded in 2000, it aims to support the political and humanitarian efforts of RAWA. Some of the humanitarian work they do evolve around health care, education and empowerment as well as awareness of women’s plight and human rights.

In a report by The Age (Australia) in November 2010, Malalai Joya, the youngest woman to be elected to the Afghanistan Parliament, said that women are still fearful for their lives, and are still donning the burqa for security reasons. Joya also faces constant threats for her own life. Joya feels that the continuous conflict in Afghanistan can be put to a stop with the removal of Western troops from Afghanistan as well as an ongoing support towards education for its people.

Nearly two thousand girls and boys alike have benefited from the schools that RAWA run in the cities, in refugee camps in Pakistan as well as the Danish School for girls in the Farah province. These schools allow children opportunities to a primary and high school education at the very lease. A report from the Danish School can be found here.

Afghan student writes on chalk board. Photo: AWM

Graduates from RAWA-run schools went on to fight for their nation’s freedom, speaking before the United Nations, Congressmen, Senators of the United States as wells as leaders from around the world, which shows the outreaching fruit from the education of one generation.

Some RAWA schools, however, are held underground. In a 2003 report, former AWM president, Steve Penners, followed a group of woman and girls to their underground school. Interviewing the young girl from the group, she said, “Some people say that educating girls is not important, but I like to learn. It makes me feel free.”

Continuous monetary support will aid the enrolment of more Afghans into the education programs and give women more opportunities at being educated, which will create an impactful contribution towards the nation as a whole. Check out Afghan Women’s Mission and see how you can play a part in helping Afghan redevelop their nation.