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Education as an empowerment tool for women in Afghanistan

Cover page of report by Maliha Shir Mohammed showing girls sitting in front of computer. Photo.


In her report "Education as an empowerment tool for women in Afghanistan: the insider perspectives of educated Afghan women", which is a summary of her MA thesis, author Maliha Shir Mohammad explores the understudied topic of the lived experiences of educated Afghan women and investigates their perspectives on education as an empowerment tool, in addition to their challenges and motivations for contributing to the promotion of women’s education in Afghanistan.

Globally, Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates. This is due to barriers to women's education, such as girls' limited mobility and early marriage. The general war-torn context further strains social order and the pursuit of social justice in ways that particularly affect women. It makes it difficult to promote gender equality because, in addition to security challenges, Afghan culture continues to hold a very pessimistic view toward women's progress and social status.

In her study, Maliha argues that efforts to promote girls' right to education in Afghanistan continue to be undermined by sociocultural norms, while the complex security situation in Afghanistan further explains why so many girls remain without education. Her findings, among others, highlight the need for governments and nongovernmental organisations to promote women’s education in Afghanistan.

Read the full report here.


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About the author

Maliha Shir Mohammad recently completed her master’s degree in Gender Studies at Lund University. Previously, she obtained degrees in Asian Studies and International Relations from Lund University and Malmö University. Her academic work focuses on women’s rights in Afghanistan and various aspects of the lives of Afghan women in Sweden. She has written about domestic violence in the Afghan diaspora in Sweden and about hidden polygamy among Afghans in Malmö, as well as many other topics related to the performance of Afghan women in different political contexts in Afghanistan.