Grade 8 students at one of AWEP’s supported female schools.


Female education in Afghanistan has made enormous gains since 2001, but significant obstacles remain. The adult literacy rate in Afghanistan is among the lowest in the world, with only 38 percent of the population aged 15 and older able to read and write. The situation is even worse for women as only an estimated 24 percent of adult women are literate, compared to 52 percent of men.1 Furthermore, only 36 percent of Afghan girls attend primary school, this number drops to a meager 24 percent for secondary and tertiary schools meaning that only one in 20 girls attend school beyond the sixth grade.2

The future of Afghanistan depends on what and how it invests in the education sector todayWorld Bank

The quality of education received is another area of concern, as it remains inequitably distributed across Afghanistan. Despite the growing number of schools reconstructed or built, there are not enough qualified and motivated teachers to deliver a quality education. AWEP’s work in improving female education in Afghanistan focuses on increasing girls’ access to quality basic education through:

  • Promoting girls’ enrollment in formal education and conducting outreach to out-of-school and marginalised children.

  • Community mobilisation to increase girls’ access to schools, as well as retention and completion rates.

  • Developing capacity of teachers and administrators to improve the quality of teaching and the learning achievements of students.

  • Creating a quality-driven and conducive learning environment in schools to promote effective academic and intellectual development.

  • Formation and strengthening of school school shuras.

  • Establishing and maintaining strong links between schools and parents.

  • Enhancing female literacy with basic reading, writing and numeracy skills.

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