Findings of the Women and Children Legal Research Foundation (WCLRF), which conducted research in Kabul, Parwan, Balkh, Badakhshan, Nangarhar and Kandahar reveal that 62 percent of Afghan girls leave school between 13 and 15 years of age for various reasons.
The WCLRF said that of the 12,000 female students who were studying in the seventh grade class, only 6,000 of them later graduated from their schools, which is a much higher dropout rate than for boys.
Out of all the children deprived of education, 60 percent of them are girls, and literacy among girls is much lower than that of boys.
“Sources for this exist in our society; if we want to change it to good culture and behavior I am sure we can,” said Mirwais Balkhi, the acting minister of education.
Balkhi added that out of 2,700 school projects recently launched, 1,100 are reserved for girls.
And the Ministry of Education wants to increase the hiring of women teachers by 50 percent.
“It can have a bad effect on families, girls and generally on society—that is why we conducted the research,” Said Zarqa Yaftali head of WCLRF
For the report, 1373 students, their parents, teachers, and officials of the Ministry of the Hajj and Religious Affairs, plus civic society activists and officials from the Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) have been interviewed.
“We are committed to using these findings in a separate plan,” said Nabeela Musleh, deputy women’s affairs minister.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that war, poverty, forced marriage, “undesirable culture” and domestic violence are the main causes that girls do not attend school.
“In provinces and districts-- in cooperation with the Ministry of Education--the necessary activity should take place,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah added that any peace deal will not compromise on children’s or girls’ rights—specifically in the are of education.
The research showed that male members of the home decided in 64 percent of the cases that the girls should not attend school, and 36 percent were forced to leave for other reasons.
Based on the Education Ministry statistics, 9.5 million children are going to schools now and out of the 9.5 million 39 percent of them are girls.
The ministry said that at least 4 million children are deprived access to school.