The situation of children and women in Afghanistan

Facts and figures

A mother and her child, formerly malnourished who benefited from her sessions and her child now fully regained weight
Afghanistan/ 2016/Ahmadi

Following decades of conflict, Afghanistan has focused on revitalizing social systems and establishing new ones to protect, educate and improve health care for Afghan children and their mothers. Despite enormous obstacles and a harsh climate and terrain, considerable progress has been achieved: the chances of survival for children and women have increased considerably; more children and adolescents are enrolled in school at all levels, and larger numbers of families have access to clean and safe water, particularly in urban areas.

But challenges remain and everyday life for the children and women of Afghanistan can be extremely daunting.

Progress has been uneven, benefitting mostly areas that are easier to reach. Afghans living in rural, remote areas or insecure districts are less likely to have access to basic services. For generations who have grown up in the midst of conflict, this has compounded people’s lack of access to — and knowledge about — education, healthcare, water and sanitation and their rights. Women and girls, in particular, continue to be an extremely vulnerable population.

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1 in 18 Afghan children

FAIL TO REACH THEIR FIRST BIRTHDAY

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46% of children aged 12 to 23 months

HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEIR BASIC VACCINES

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1 in 3 girls are

MARRIED BEFORE THEIR 18th BIRTHDAY

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2 in 5 children

CANNOT REACH FULL MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

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1 in 4 children

IS UNDERWEIGHT

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1.3 million children under 5 years old need treatment for

ACUTE MALNUTRITION

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Almost 50% of improved drinking water sources are

CONTAMINATED WITH FECAL MATTER

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Over 4 million people still practice

OPEN DEFECATION 

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3.7 million children are ‘out-of-school’

60% OF THEM ARE GIRLS

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Only 19% of females under 15 years old

ARE LITERATE

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Afghanistan is still battling polio with

14 CASES REPORTED IN 2017

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31% of adolescent girls

ARE ANAEMIC