Afghanistan - Pakistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked country in South West Asia. It is bound by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan to the northwest, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north and China to the northeast.

Pakistan is located in South Asia. It is bound by India to the east, Afghanistan and Iran to the west, China to the north and the Arabian Sea to the south.

logoYoung students at Torghu Balla School

Afghan president calls for more girls' education

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on tribal and religious leaders to encourage the education of girls, a right denied to them under Taliban rule.

Karzai urged insurgent groups not to attack teachers and school children, saying that the country could only develop through the spread of education.

Gender & Education in Pakistan

Gender & Education in Pakistan, by Iffat Farah and Sehr Shera identify the following constraints to female participation in education:

  1. Socio-cultural constraints - Girls have a low status in the family, community and society relative to boys that is deeply rooted in the traditional structures of family, gender roles, and power. "Under this perspective, girls' education does not have much positive value and is, in fact perceived to have a negative impact on women's morals and pose a threat to the socio-cultural, political and economic set up." (pp. 18-19)
  2. Distance of school from home - Parents will not send their children to school, particularly girls, if they have a perception of potential threats to their daughter's security on her way to school. This is particularly true in rural areas which do not have good communication systems and provinces with scattered population. (p. 20)
  3. Quality of education - Parents with limited resources are more likely to use them to send sons to private schools, leaving girls to attend either government or community schools which are the cheapest and often of poorer quality, causing the girls to drop out. (p. 21)
  4. Lack of female role models - School curricula present girls in traditional gender roles, so girls are not inspired to see the potential of education for them. (p. 22)
  5. Poverty - This is the second most frequent reason for girls staying out of school as economic returns of schooling for girls accrue not to the parents but to the family in which she marries. (p. 23)
  6. Women's work - Girls in rural areas are involved in household and agriculture related work at an early age. "About 30 per cent of girls, who have never been to school, enter paid labour before the age of 15 while no more than 10 per cent of girls who have been to school engage in paid labour before this age." (pp. 23-24)
  7. Insufficient financing of education - Percentage of government funding on education is less than 2 per cent (UNESCO recommends 4 per cent) and the share of education subsidies is lower for girls than for boys. (p. 25)