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Old traditions keeping half of Logar girls out of school

Old traditions keeping half of Logar girls out of school

Jun 18, 2017 - 17:37

PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): Lawlessness and old traditions have prevented about 50 percent of girls from attending school in central Logar province, the provincial womeninfo-icon’s affairs director says.

Shima Zargar told Pajhwok Afghan News that many families in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital, Kharwar, Azra, Charkh and other districts did not let their daughters attend school.

“Old traditions are still in practice here, people consider it dishonor if they let their daughters go to school,” she said.

She said their surveys showed 50 percent of girls had been deprived of educationinfo-icon due to the lack of law enforcement and negative customs.

Her department had repeatedly held meetings and conferences requesting people to send their daughters to school, she said.

Atifa, a resident of Pangram area of Charkh district, said most of the girls in the district were not allowed to go to school.

“I have three daughters, they studied up to grade six, but my husband insists they should no longer go to school as he thinks sending adult girls to school is bad and a shameful act,” the mother said.

Atifa said the government should find a solution to the problem and rescue the girls from such oppression.

Mariam, a resident of Azra district, told Pajhwok that she studied till grade six in school. “I have a lot of interest in learning, I wanted to become a doctor, but my father and brothers did not allow me to attend school,” she said.

She urged elders to put aside old traditions and let their daughters adjust with the modern life and attend schools.

Gulabuddin, a resident of Daudkhel area of Pul-i-Alam city, said around 1,000 families were living in the area. He said only one primary school existed in the area and people there did not allow their girls to get higher education.

“No one here let their adult daughters attend school, if a person does so, other people would pour scorn on him until his death,” he said.

He said some people who wanted their girls to be educated had shifted their houses to capital Kabulinfo-icon to enroll their daughters in school.

To a question, he said: “I know education is mandatory for both men and women, but we can not go against the current.  I also do not let my children go to school.”

On the other hand, religious scholar Maulviinfo-icon Abdul Hameed said the education right was legally given to women in Islamic Shariahinfo-icon. “But women should be taught by women and they should attend school by wearing Niqabs.”

Abdul Hameed, in response to a question, said: “Those people who don’t allow their daughters to school, it’s their personal will and decision, but Islam emphasizes on education.”

He said Logar religious scholars had always made efforts at encouraging families towards educating their children.

Meanwhile, the Logar Education Department acknowledged old traditions and taboos had affected the girls’ education process in the province.

About the issue, Education Director Mohammad Akbar Stanikzai told Pajhwok Afghan News they had so far not established a high school for girls in Charkh and Kharwar district of the province.

He said people of the two districts were unwilling to send their daughters to school and therefore no high school could be established in there. He said the families considered it a great shame if their daughters went to a high school.

However, he said: “If residents of all areas show the will for allowing their girls to attend school until last stages, then we are ready to establish a high school there.”

“In addition to capital Pul-i-Alam, our main issue in districts is that people consider traditions more essential than the law and they do whatever the customs say.”

According to him, the education department was using many ways to persuade people into allowing their daughters to school.”

The governor’s house also admitted the issue’s prevalence. The governor’s spokesman, Saleem Saleh, said most of the Logar inhabitants followed old traditions rather than the law.

He cited improper traditions as a big hurdle towards girls to reach 12th grade in many districts, including Pul-i-Alam.

Saleh added the provincial authorities had launched efforts at reducing the level of the issue through tribal elders and clerics.

Not only Logar is facing the mentioned issue, but many of Afghanistaninfo-icon people aren’t ready to send their girls to schools.

Currently 307 educational centres are operational in the capital and districts of Logar, imparting education to more than 140,000 students, including 50,000 girls.


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