Malala Fund raises $1.5 million to support Afghan girls’ education

The nonprofit girls’ education advocacy group Malala Fund has marked the 1,000th day since the Taliban banned girls’ education in Afghanistan with a new initiative to reach more young Afghans with educational content.
Malala Fun:- The nonprofit girls’ education advocacy group Malala Fund has marked the 1,000th day since the Taliban banned girls’ education. [VOA]
Malala Fun:- The nonprofit girls’ education advocacy group Malala Fund has marked the 1,000th day since the Taliban banned girls’ education. [VOA]

Malala Fun:- The nonprofit girls’ education advocacy group Malala Fund has marked the 1,000th day since the Taliban banned girls’ education in Afghanistan with a new initiative to reach more young Afghans with educational content.

The group announced Friday that more than $1.5 million in new funding had been secured for local grantees in Afghanistan.

“The new group of grantees are reaching up to 1 million young people with learning content delivered through satellite television and educating thousands of Afghan girls in classes held in homes and learning centers, and through online learning and advocacy preventing gender apartheid,” the father of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and Malala Fund’s co-founder Ziauddin Yousafzai told VOA.

When the Taliban returned to power in 2021, the group initially said that girls would not be allowed to attend secondary schools until a new education policy according to “principles of Islamic law and Afghan culture” was approved. However, with no plan in place to reopen secondary schools to girls, the Taliban issued a new edict in 2022 and banned girls and young women in Afghanistan from higher education.

The situation has not silenced some students from speaking out.

“The Taliban should open universities as they have been promising. We studied for seven years, and this is the third consecutive year that girls could not enroll for university exams. This is very depressing for us," Haya, who used a single name and is a final-year medical student at Kabul University, told VOA.

Kabul University medical student Pashtana Kuchai said, “We are calling on the world not to abandon us. We are calling the world to give us a voice so at least we could study.”

The Musawer Foundation is a nonprofit working for girls’ education in Afghanistan and has launched a campaign called "Iqra," which means "Read" in Arabic, to coincide with the 1,000th day of the ban.

Shafiqa Khpalwak, the founder of Musawer, called on the world to stand with Afghan women and girls.

"These are millions of dreams and talents. When we spoke with girls while collecting voices for the Iqra campaign, they all felt alone and abandoned,” Khpalwak said.

She said that despite the segregation and restrictions, Afghan men and women have seized opportunities to resist the restrictions, “whether by attending secret schools, coming to the streets and protesting, or secretly documenting human rights violations.”

“Every single day, we say no to the Taliban's oppressive policies. But what [has] the world ... done in the past three years? Instead of listening to Afghan women, they normalized those who have erased women from public spaces,” she told VOA.

UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement Thursday, “Barring girls from secondary school in Afghanistan violates their rights and has serious ramifications for Afghan society as a whole. One thousand days out of school amounts to three billion learning hours lost.”

The Taliban rejects the criticism of their government's policies, saying they are in line with Afghan tradition and Islam. Taliban’s leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada has denounced the calls for reform as an interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs.

The United Nations has categorized the treatment of women by the Taliban and an organized restriction of their human rights as “gender apartheid.”

The Taliban banned education for teenage girls in Afghanistan a month after the group’s capture of Kabul in August 2021. In December 2022, they extended the ban on university education for women and barred them from working in nongovernmental organizations. VOA/SP

logo
NewsGram
www.newsgram.com