Afghan lady writing on a whiteboard in front of her teacher.
A student writes on the board in one of Kabultec’s female-only literacy classes.

Women and girls continue to comprise the bulk of the adult illiterates in Afghanistan! And yet, by all accounts, literacy is one way of alleviating the problems of their situation and a sure means of empowering them.

In 2017 the Roqia Center began offering female-only literacy classes. We accept girls and women ages 15 and up, especially those who are not allowed by their families to go to school, those who have migrated to the city from rural areas, and married women who have not been able to go to school because of family obligations. In our first year, we had girls and women aged 15 to 65, consisting mostly Tajiks and Hazaras from Kabul. The class was in the Dehmazang area of Kabul and met in the afternoons. Later that year, we started another class in the outskirts of Kabul, near Rishkhor base. That class had eighteen students, again girls and women from the ages of 16 to 58 years old, from several ethnicities and provinces. The classes meet six days a week. We had many inquiries from people wanting to enrol, but we have limited the size of each class to twenty students and lack of funds prevents us from holding more female-only classes.

Afghan female students sitting in class.
Attentive students in one of Kabultec’s female-only literacy classes.