Educational and Economic Perspective of Afghan Women During the Past 20 Years

Words by Arezo

Art by Hella


When we talk about educational and economic aspects of afghan women, the first think that
comes in our minds are closed schools, educational boundaries, financial dependency and so on.
But do they deserve all of these and how was this trend before shifting the regime? This series
will focus on education and economic outlook of Afghan women before and after the Taliban

First and foremost, Afghan girls had grown in education aspect rapidly, and they had accessed to
the most competitive universities and competitions. For instance, all- girls afghan robotic team,
known as the Afghan Dreamers, came in the second place out of 88 countries in the “PCBs the
Change” world competition sponsored by Upverter Education, Ardunio and the IPC Education
Foundation. (Tolo News, Jan 2022). Meanwhile, lots of girls were getting Fulbright scholarship
of U.S.A and other worldwide scholarship. According to a press release published in March 2021
of the United States embassy website, more than 850 Afghan Students have benefited from the
program over the past 18 years and about a quarter of Fulbright recipients are women.

Conversely, now girls have lots of boundaries on their way. Like, they are not allowed to go to
secondary and high schools and getting an oversea scholarship is more tough because they are
not allowed to trip overseas without a Mahram (father, brother, husband). “I was really interested
to continue my education in Kazakhstan, but they didn’t ask me for entry exam because I am a
girl and according to the new regime rules girls are not allowed to get an overseas scholarship”
says Hanifa. At the same time, there is still some superwomen who pass the crossroad and teach
other girls furtively. Like, Mursal a young woman who made a secondary and high school for
more than 50 girls in her house (Azadiradio, 2021).

In addition, within the past 20 years, Afghan women economic outlook was satisfactory and
more importantly they had job security and freedom. A lot of women were working in
governmental and private offices or they were running their own businesses and from their
activities they were earning a self-income. According to economic ministry of Afghanistan the
number of Women Entrepreneurs had an increase of 54 thousand businesswomen in 2020 (BBC,
2020). Unlike, now they lost the opportunity to finance themselves. So, they are financially
dependent to their families and specially to men. Financial dependency was a main cause of
gender-based violence in Afghanistan over the years. Meanwhile, Save the Children organization
reports that from a series of Afghan families one third of them lost their income after Taliban
takeover and they were constraint to sell their girls (afintl, 2022). Beside that women who were
financing their families are living in a bad situation. Like, women journalists have been hit
hardest, with 4 out of 5 no longer working and 84% of them have lost their jobs (RSF, 2022).

As a conclusion, Afghan women educational and economic life changed egregiously. Girls are
not allowed to attend schools beside that financial dependency also added to women problems
and anxiety while before the new crisis they were in an exhaustive progress.

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