Sunday, August 05, 2007

Interview with a Young Afghan Girl: "If I go to school who is going to take care of my little brother and sister? "

Every day her mother makes her some Bolani (Afghan fast food) and sells each one for 5 afg, almost ten cents.

She is 9 years old and wishes to go to school one day. She wishes that one day they'll have food at home and a schoolbag for her brother. She wishes for the day when he will have shoes on his feet. She is tired.

I asked her if she likes to go to school.

"If I go to school who is going to take care of my little brother and sister? Who is going to feed my mother? We don’t have a home, we don't have food, and we don't have money. That is why I am coming to the street to sell Bolani and earn a little money, to buy food for my family", she answered.

I looked down at her feet in the old torn shoes. Her toes came out and were terribly harmed. She suffers from her long walks to reach this place to sell her bread.
"Look I have no shoes to go to school; I walk 30 minutes to get here. And here I am not comfortable also, because the traffic comes towards me, forcing me to leave this place. At night when I go back home I am tired and I can’t play. So I go to sleep and early in the morning I wake up again and take me and my breads back to this place", she said.

Interview by Afghan Lord.

Legalizing education for girls, and even building schools isn't enough to ensure the education of girls (or boys). The ongoing fighting and the resulting lack of stability means little economic activity and much grinding poverty for much of the Afghan population. Poor children, as illustrated here by this interview, cannot attend school, even when it is available. They do what they can to survive. Until the airstrikes and heavy fighting stop, the country cannot truly be rebuilt, poverty and womens rights cannot be dealt with, and things like womens' rights and the education of girls will continue to be only a dream. As I've said before, Canada and the other NATO countries are using the women of Afghanistan to justify their military occupation to their own people. For the Afghan people, the Taliban pose only as much a threat as the warlords pose - the warlords we are allied with.

- Every 30 minutes, an Afghan woman dies during childbirth
- 87 percent of Afghan women are illiterate
- 30 percent of girls have access to education in Afghanistan
- 1 in every 3 Afghan women experience physical, psychological or sexual violence
- 44 years is the average life expectancy rate for women in Afghanistan
- 70 to 80 percent of women face forced marriages in Afghanistan
Source: IRIN News, March 8, 2007

Or maybe, as the Fraser Institute thinks, making them pay for education is the answer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Human Rights Watch will be screening "Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame" during this year's film festival (February 28 - March 5).

It's a wonderful dramatization of many of the issues raised in your post.

For details on the festival, go to