Schoolgirls Lash Out at Awareness Programme
GHAZNI CITY – Students of a girls’ high school in the capital of southern Ghazni province complain they are taught “inappropriate lessons” in the garb of a public awareness programmes by judicial officials. “They tell us not to abide by what your parents or anyone else in family say. Do what your heart wants you to do because this is your right. The Afghan government and the international community are behind you,” said Zuhal Tanha, a student at the Jehan Malaki High School in Ghazni City.
She believed the awareness programme was aimed at undermining the Afghan way of life and imposing the western culture on the Afghan society. “Under the pretext of the public awareness programmes, girl students are told to marry boys to whom they love, wear clothes as they like and if family resists, run away from homes; there are shelter houses for you.”
Another student, Rahima Farogh, confirmed programme officials insisted girls should live the way they liked. She said Islam clearly defines the rights of women and men and such programmes were meant to mislead them. She said nothing could force her to change her lifestyle and adopt outlandish values. Farogh said they were told at workshops they should not live the way women did in Afghanistan 13 years ago and should apply for jobs in government offices.
Ghazni Education Director Mohammad Abid acknowledged a delegation of judicial officials from Kabul had visited the Jehan Malaki High School as part of a training programme to raise awareness among girls about their rights. He said the training programme had been stopped after complaints that girls were taught lessons in conflict with the Afghan culture. His department had no right to stop the programme, but the culture did not allow such things to be taught. Ghazni attorney Abdul Rashid Abid expressed his unawareness about the training programme. (PAN)