Woman runs home-based school for 600 girls

KABUL (Tolo News): An Afghan woman in Kabul is providing literacy and vocational training for nearly six hundred women and girls, free of charge. Zainab Mohammadi, the founder of the Pen and Book Foundation, says she started home-based courses for girls over sixth grade who have been prevented from attending school. She funds the school, whose students come from Kabul and Parwan provinces.
“I have established this center with my own budget– none of the organizations have assisted us so far,” said Zainab Mohammadi. Tailoring, hand-knitting and weaving are among the professions that women learn along with literacy training. “At first we had the budget to provide materials–like materials for weaving–but right now, the students are bringing them most of the time,” said Diba, a teacher.
The girls who learn and work at the center said they are optimistic about their future, but call on the Islamic Emirate to reopen girls’ schools across the country as soon as possible. “We ask the government to reopen our schools and we ask the international supporters to help such centers,” said Mursal, a student. In the six months since the fall of the previous government, girls above the sixth grade were prevented from attending school in many areas.
In the meantime, women have also complained of broader restrictions in society. Earlier, World Bank findings showed that women made up 21 percent of Afghanistan’s labor force, but recent developments have significantly reduced the number of women working in Afghanistan.