Activist women in Jalalabad convince a father to send his daughters to school
“I thought I would never be allowed to return to school as none of my arguments convinced my father”
Mr. Aman, a father of six daughters and no sons, lives with his family in Jalalabad city. He drives a Zaranj and because his income is not sufficient to meet his family’s needs his older daughters and his wife work as tailors for their neighbourhood and shopkeepers. Unfortunately, during the Covid 19 lockdown, Aman was not able to earn even a single Afghani and he was so anxious for the fate of his family that when the lockdown was eased and high schools reopened, Aman refused to allow his younger daughters to resume their studies and instead set them to work helping their mother and sisters.
Aman’s wife is a Zardozi client with a brilliant skill in tailoring. She was so deeply disappointed when Aman took his daughters out of school that she approached the Zardozi activists in her community and asked them to help her.
“It took us almost 3 weeks to talk their father into letting the girls resume their studies. We listened to his concerns about his family’s survival and we understood how disappointed he was that he felt he had no other choice but to put his daughters to work,” said Parwana one of the activist women.
Parwana and her colleague explained to Aman that in today’s world if girls remain uneducated their future is dark. They pointed out that without education, the cycle of misfortune in his family would repeat itself again and again in coming generations. They went on to assure him that an educated girl can make a better life for her family and society as a whole.
“We work for community development and women’s rights and girls’ education is at the top of our priorities,” said Parwana.
Unfortunately, despite his change of mind, Aman’s daughters are still not back at school. One of the girls said sadly, that she felt so hopeless when every morning she had to watch her classmates pass by their house on their way to school and sometimes even forgetfully knocking on their door to take her with them to school. Despite her sadness, however, she agreed with her father
“I think my father was right because he is not able to afford pens, uniforms, and books for all of us,” she said quietly.
Parwana and the others are now trying to raise funds for the education of Aman’s daughters as he has agreed that if the expenses can be covered then they should all return to school.
Due to security threats, Aman is a pseudonym to maintain his and his family’s privacy.
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