Homeschooling: Solution for Educating Girls in Afghanistan

Topics: School, Education, Teacher Pages: 5 (1889 words) Published: June 4, 2011
Homeschooling: Solution for Educating Girls in Afghanistan
On December 10, 1948, “the General Assembly of the United Nations declared education a human right” (Kavazanjian 41). In other words, every individual has the right to learn and enhance their knowledge. Although most people exercise this right easily, others are not so lucky. For example, many girls in Afghanistan do not have the means to obtain a primary education. Traditional values, poverty and lack of security prevent Afghani girls from being schooled properly, which are forms of structural violence.

According to the authors in “Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology in the 21st Century”, John Galtung was the first person to recognize structural violence as a form of abuse and weakness. He illustrates this violence as “any constraint on human potential due to economic and political structures” (DuNann and Leighton 1). He also described structural violence as “almost always invisible, embedded in social structures” which is ordinary and accepted in our society (DuNann and Leighton 1). Although, this violence is invisible, it does have harmful effects and can lead to physical violence. Afghani girls who are struggling to get their education are victims of this form of violence on a daily basis. These girls are eager to complete their studies but often have to deal with many difficulties and conflicts to earn this human right. As a result, they are unable to benefit from an education and enhance their lives.

There are many traditional and cultural barriers that make it difficult for Afghani girls to obtain an education .One of the most important obstacles they face are the traditional and cultural values. In their culture, marriage is a very important aspect and helps one gain respect in society. From an early age, girls are taught that their sole purpose in life is to get married, serve a husband, and bear him healthy sons. Most of them are confined to their homes, in which they learn about household chores and obedience. The woman cannot leave the house without male guardians’ permission or accompanied by them (Kavazanjian 43). Because of these traditional and cultural values, many girls are also married at a very early age. These thoughts are embedded in their minds because most of the men do not want western influence mingling with their traditions. In “Addressing Gender Disparities: An Investigation of Nonformal Education in Afghanistan,” the author states that nearly half of the families believe that educating girls “would be contrary to family commitment, the child’s marriage or their tradition” (Kavazanjian 43). This shows that parents do not compromise on any changes to their traditions; instead, they choose no education for girls at all. Although, structural violence is invisible, the harmful effects are still present. Due to early marriages and traditional barriers, these girls are not getting a chance to explore their talents and skills. Instead, their talents are being confined and restraint. Therefore, these cultural barriers are clearly a form of structural violence on Afghani girls. Another obstacle that girls face to get their education is poverty. Afghanistan is a third world country, where basic necessities like food, water, and shelter are not easily obtainable for every citizen. Many of the children are malnourished and are not provided with three proper meals a day. For this reason, children are often forced to give up education to support their family. Boys are allowed to work outside the house whereas, “girls have domestic chores that keep them from attending school” (Kavazanjian 43).From raising younger siblings to cooking and cleaning, duties of these girls prevent them from going to school. Although, some of the girls provide income for their families by doing small chores, the wages are not enough to fund their schooling. Even if the family can afford to send their kids to school, many parents prefer to send boys instead...
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