January 4th, 2010
11:52 AM ET

Photo spotlight: Women in class

Women sit attentively during an English lesson in a school in Bamyan, Afghanistan. Despite numerous steps forward in education for Afghan women and girls, persistent violent attacks on schools by resurgent Taliban and other forces continue to force some schools to close. In recent years, though, more than 4,000 girls and women have enrolled in some kind of education programs, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. More Afghan children are in school today than at any other period in Afghanistan’s history. Photo courtesy Eric Kanalstein of the UNAMA

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Filed under: Life and Culture • Photo Spotlight
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. amh

    The information in this posting is incorrect regarding the statement that there are more Afghan children in school now than at any other time in Afghanistan's history. Please advise on what sources you referenced, as your source is providing false information. Before the Soviet Invasion, boys and girls and men and women of all ages were going to school – just like here in the U.S. The number of children in school at that time greatly surpassed the numbers of now. This posting succeeds in trying to make the Afghan people look like they are uneducated and hopeless, like the media does day after day. Being a worldwide leader of news, CNN should correct this statement or please remove it.

    February 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Diamond

    I believe thtat muslim women should be able to go to school. I mean the men do not want an illerate wife. Its good that these women want an education. Here in the United States a man loves a woman who can read and write. You would think these muslim men would want their wives to be able to take care of business when they are at work. Bad enough these muslim women have to stay at home all day and cook and clean. So they deserve the right to go to school like the men.

    January 11, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. S. C. in Washington D.C.

    I agree with A. Smith. "Schools for women in Afghanistan are like Taliban magnets. Build them and the Taliban fighters come. American commanders are constantly complaining about their being unable to locate the Taliban fighters. BUILD WOMEN's SCHOOLS and you'll find them pouring into that area to destroy those schools!" As a woman who converted from Islam to Christiantiy, I agree that women i Afghanistan should be taught self defense and given side-arms for protection. The most important oppressor is the Shariah Law that still is in effect Afghanistam and most Shiite countries. There is nothing peaceful about the religion of Islam, just look at its history. It more of a political statement than a religion. As a child growing in Iran, we had so much freedom. Women were so revered by their husbands and the society. Except for those uneducated men who held on to their radical Islamic beliefs and oppressed their wives, most women were free in Iran if they wanted to be. I guess we have the most naive U.S. president Jimmy Carter to thank for pulling out the rug from under the Shah and flooding the middle east with oppression of Islam and Shariah. He ruined centuries of improvement in the lives of women, I truly hope he burns in H. when he dies. And to my American friends, Islam ruined my country and we sat quietly. I just hope you are smarter because if you are not, the Islamic fascism will ruin this great country as well, do not be complacent, not even for one day.

    January 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. A. Smith, Oregon

    The Muslim religion clearly states Muslim women are at most worth only 1/3 that of a Muslim man. That also applies to any inheritance they would receive. Muslim women are prohibited from being a single witness before a Islamic Court against a Muslim man even when that crime is horrific or violently grievous. There are many derogatory commandments toward women and what they cannot do which is strictly enforced by the Muslim hard core Clerics and Mullahs. Minor infractions might result in a public caneing. And it goes up from there depending on the perceived infraction, leather lashing, bull whips, execution.

    There are hundreds of Hindu homes in India where ex-Muslim women found safety and healing after being savagely beaten within a inch of their lives. Generally whenever a Indian citizen posts their photos on the Internet, they receive dozens of serious Muslim threats to remove them.

    Educate the Muslim women, those that wish to permanently leave the Muslim religion and relocate should be assisted by the American and Allied support network in every possible.

    January 5, 2010 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Christy

    I think the women should be allowed to go to school just as the men are. That's the whole problem with the country is the uneducated are not able to obtain legal jobs. Maybe if they would all realize that they are equal, it would help not only the economy but the country as a whole. I'm sure everyone remembers the slave problem we had right before the Civil War. In my mind this is exactly the same thing – the women are the slaves. They are meant to be uneducated so they can't stray from their husbands. They are forced to live with whatever they are given and be grateful for it. If they were allowed to have a voice and an education, the country could only grow stronger. As an added benefit maybe more would become in politics and government and we could have a better, stronger country. It's my opinion that the women are forced away from the schools because the men are afraid of their wives becoming smarter and more respected than they are.

    January 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. A. Smith, Oregon

    Much of the Western World remembers the horrific execution of a Muslim women in the soccer field shown around the world. After 7 years of occupation by American and Allied soldiers, the plight of the Muslim women remains as dismal as it had before with very few changes. They remain little educated, unarmed and unable to defend themselves against the moment the American and Allied troops leave and the Pashtun and Taliban fighters sweep back in.

    The Muslim women in the Afghanistan region are among the original victims living in the most dismal of conditions, heaped upon with the most horrific of abuse and violence. The opportunity for America to directly help these women has existed these past 7 years. Building schools for Muslim women, train them in self-defense and issue them side-arms for their personal protection. Sadly, it appears the US Military views that meger support as interfering in the barbaric conditions and life that Muslim women in the Afghanistan region live in everyday.

    The Taliban fighters do not want Muslim women educated, if they were educated many would leave the Muslim religion and never look back. It is beyond stupidity to build schools in Afghanistan and not arm and protect them from their eventual attack by the Taliban fighters. Schools for women in Afghanistan are like Taliban magnets. Build them and the Taliban fighters come. American commanders are constantly complaining about their being unable to locate the Taliban fighters. BUILD WOMEN's SCHOOLS and you'll find them pouring into that area to destroy those schools!

    January 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |