Militants, tribal tradition hamper female education
FIROZKOH (Pajhwok): Director women affairs for western Ghor province has said that illegal armed men, militants and local tradition are preventing thousands of girls to stay away from getting education.
Masooma Anwari in her exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said women department in Ghor had implemented multiple programmes for improvement of women’s situation. She said much more was needed to be done to protect women rights.
She said the main challenge for women was the existence of Taliban and illegal armed people in rural areas especially in Dolina, Pasaband, Shahrak, Chahar Sada and northern regions that created problems for girls attending school.
Even a single girl in those areas could not attend school, she added.
According to the education department of Ghor, at least 185 schools were functioning in the province in which 84,000 girls students are enrolled.
But Anwari said 70 percent of schools were closed or partially active due to insecurity and presence of armed groups and militants.
Women could not raise their voice when they are tortured as a result of violence in the areas where government has no writ, she added, saying 68 cases including seven murder cases had been registered last year.
“I know violence against women have increased, and women living in areas where Taliban and illegal armed men are active cannot raise their voice,” Anwari said.
She said tribal costumes among locals were another problem forcing girls not to attend schools. Another problem is marriage of underage girls and children.
“People living in remote areas tie marriage contracts of their newborn son and daughters and when they grew it creates problems and disagreement,” she added.
Taking high amount of dowry is part of the problems that caused youth to marry in older age when they find enough money to pay dowry, Anwari said. “The amount of dowry range from 500,000 Afghanis to 2,000,000 Afghanis,” she added.
She called lack of opportunity for women to work in government offices was another problem and said that no woman was working in any districts of Ghor province. She said only 22 women were deployed in Firozkoh, the provincial capital.
“We have great concern about the deteriorated situation of women. A number of women have participated in the election process but they could not work in offices. We demand increase of women officers in government offices,” she stressed.
Lack of family court is part of the problem, she said, adding that there no female defense lawyers to defend women cases, she noted.
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