Culture & Lifestyle / Afghanistan Is Creating Its First Women’s University

Afghanistan Is Creating Its First Women’s University

Culture & Lifestyle Jan 25, 2016

With mounting threats from the Taliban and a lack of encouragement, women and girls who want to study at university might have the chance when Afghanistan opens its first women's university.

We've yet to see a timeline on when the university will be built. This limbo period is the unfortunate part for the women and girls who want to study — and soon.

Photo Credit: Global Citizen
However, President Ashraf Ghani announced in 2014 that he would support and implement a college for women in his election campaign. Holding him to this promise is First Lady Rula Ghani, who's been a strong advocate for women's rights in the country.
"Building a university for girls is one of the promises of Mr Ghani that he vowed during presidential campaigns and now we are on the eve of its implementation. Those girls that are not allowed to study at other universities can continue their higher education in this university,” she said at the press conference held last week.

The school will be called Mawlana Afghan-Turk University and will be built with the help of Turkey, which has a long history of supporting women's education.

"As the minister of labor and social affairs we are committed to providing jobs, training and entrepreneurship opportunities for graduates of the university,” Nasrin Oryakhil of the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry told Tolo News. She vowed to employ future university graduates. 

The New Generation of Students in Afghanistan
Photo Credit: The Diplomat 

But ensuring students' safety is of utmost priority, especially in the wake of bombings at schools that girls and women attend. Currently, most female students attend the American University of Afghanistan, and its dean fully supports the new university.

“The American University always supports anything that is going to advance the education for women in Afghanistan. We are willing to give all of our support in terms of helping develop programs, and helping to increase their resources so that we can get this initiative started,” said Mark English.

Given the country's afemale literacy rate of 20%, this university could serve as a hopeful reminder of the government’s commitment to fostering women's education and standing undaunted by forces like the Taliban that seek to restrict women.

It remains to be seen how this university might recruit thousands of girls in impoverished areas since they rarely get the chance to attend classes. A solution could send a powerful message that the international community can watch and praise.

For now, kudos to the Afghan government for creating this university. 

Main Image Photo Credit: Breitbart

Rumnique Nannar

Rumnique Nannar


Rumnique Nannar is a new journalist with a passion for all things pop culture, film, and art. Rumnique was born in London, with a predilection for devouring English chocolate with her Vogue, ANOKHI, and Glamour magazines in tow. She is currently in her Journalism Masters at UBC. Connect ...


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