28 March 2023

Devastated and dispirited: Barred from continuing their education, girls in Afghanistan lose hope

"I began to feel a deep voice in my heart. It wants to scream out – so loud – and I feel like something inside of me needs to escape." Children around Afghanistan grabbed their backpacks, uniforms and pencils, rejoicing as schools reopened in March after the long winter break. But for 1 million girls, the year only promises crushed hopes and…, Arezo, "It has been more than 540 days since I have been in a classroom. I’ve been counting. If schools do not open, I will have to keep counting and this depression will keep going." Arezo would have been in grade 11 this year - her penultimate year of secondary school. But now her heart is heavy with the rubble of her crushed dreams. She wanted to…, Mursal, "After the schools closed, I continued learning at home. I started learning guitar by watching videos online." "The initial weeks were gruesome and very tiresome. I did not have any hope at first. But then I told myself, 'Mursal, you cannot just stay still.' So I started studying from some of the books I have at home. I wanted to keep myself busy…, Rabia, "For every year of my studies, I have been first in my class."  At 16, Rabia should be attending high school and looking towards university. She would be in grade 11 this year, but her opportunities are now murky as the classroom remains off limits for her. But Rabia is determined to keep learning, in any way can. "I have been trying to study on…
22 September 2022

Gender Equality

Challenge, Of the 625 million children in South Asia, approximately 295 million (nearly 50 per cent) are girls.   Heartbreakingly, most girls in South Asia have to constantly contend with patriarchal values and harmful gender norms that prioritize men and boys over them.    These deep-seeded forces and attitudes follow girls throughout their lives – through…, Opportunity, If we tackle the root causes of gender inequality, bold transformative change is possible.  When girls, regardless of their background, are healthy, educated and empowered to make their own decisions, they can become change-makers and world shapers in their communities. This also significantly contributes to the country’s economic prosperity and…, What UNICEF is doing, UNICEF South Asia is committed to advancing gender equality and girls empowerment through investments and interventions that address gender barriers, including targeted interventions to unlock girls’ potential and build their leadership. We are working at all levels – with girls themselves, with girl-led organizations, communities, government and…, Resources, These resources represent a selection of materials produced by UNICEF and its partners in the region. The list is regularly updated to include the latest information. What we know about the gender digital divide for girls: A literature review Immunization and Gender: A practical guide to integrate a gender lens into immunization programmes…, Featured stories, Featured multimedia, UNICEF USA Seventeen-year-old Dipali from Bangladesh returned to learning with the help of an innovative alternative education program, Skills4Girls. UNICEF This is Mariya's plea, one month since teenage girls were barred from classrooms in Afghanistan. Display caption Show Original Caption Display caption Show Original Caption UNICEF USA Learn…