True Treasure

This week, we read some parts of a film transcript called Back to School. The film (a documentary I guess) addresses different obstacles which stop children from going to school in the developing countries. One of the seven children whose stories reveal their struggle for going back to school and get educated is an Afghan girl named Shugufa. Many issues like migration, war, gender discrimination, distraction by household responsibilities, stereotypes about uselessness of educating children, lack of teachers and sufficient infrastructure for schools are illustrated as problems on the way of educating Afghan children.

This is very sad, but true. Gender discrimination is one of the biggest barriers that deprives girls from getting the primary education, which is one the basic elements of international human rights charters, in many parts of Afghanistan, especially the southern estates that are mainly home to Taliban. During Taliban regime, women were not allowed to go to schools at all. Despite the fact that now there is a democracy in Afghanistan, and the government tries to provide a free education for all, Taliban in the areas that are dominant make it difficult for women to attend schools by threatening them in different ways. According to the BBC, on 12 November 2008, in a ruthless action some Taliban insurgents threw acid on the faces of 14 schoolgirls in Kandahar city. Those girls lost their beauty of their faces forever but not their faith in the power and brightness that education could bring to their mind. After getting the primary treatments, they all returned back to their schools to show the world, the horrified families and other schoolgirls that nothing should stop women from getting their own rights.

I am proud of those brave Afghan girls who did not let some stone-aged, rotten-minded Talib steal their real treasure, their ambitions, from them. In fact, I feel more responsible than before to help Afghan women get what they really deserve whenever I see how they struggle to prove their existence as a human even if by giving in their facial beauty forever.

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One Response to True Treasure

  1. aditi27 says:

    Dear Masooma, I really appreciate your determination to contribute in the sector of educating Afghan women. The bitter fact you have pointed out about Taliban is really scary, especially what they did with fourteen school girls in Kandahar city. I think Tliban need to change themselves in accoding to the changing world. Most importantly, I believe, the girls who aspire to succeed in academic life must be encouraged and the state should provide them with security. If this can happen, no doubt, we can see majority of Afghan girls persuing their dreams attending schools and contributing to the brighter future of Afghanistan.

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