Women Make Gains, but Still Struggle in Afghanistan
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JIM LEHRER: And finally tonight, Margaret Warner wraps up nearly a month of reporting in Afghanistan with this story on the fate and future of Afghan women.
MARGARET WARNER: On a misty morning in southwest Kabul, girls are playing catch-up. At this “Afghans4Tomorrow” foundation school, 15-year-olds are in first grade with 6-year-olds. It’s a legacy of the Taliban era, when girls’ education was forbidden through virtually all of Afghanistan.
LAILA SAIEDI, Director, “Afghans4Tomorrow” School (through translator): These girls are now learning, and that should help all Afghanistan, since most of the problems here the reason is uneducation.
MARGARET WARNER: In a country where the literacy rate for girls is just 11 percent, this marks an improvement, says Sima Samar of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
SIMA SAMAR, Chair, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission: Of course not everywhere in every corner, but 35 percent of the students — of the children who goes to school is girls, although we are not happy with the number still. It’s lower number. But it is something, a positive change.