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Defying Norms: An Afghan Father’s Resolve to Educate His Daughter Gulalai

Defying societal expectations after matriculation, her parents insisted she pursue higher education before considering marriage.

In our region, the reality remains that many Afghan girls still face limited opportunities for education and employment. Some continue to be denied educational access due to parental restrictions and lack of support.

Conversely, there are parents championing their daughters’ success, providing unwavering support for a brighter future. Despite prevalent notions, there are Afghan families proud of their daughters’ education, challenging stereotypes.

Meet Gulalai, a fortunate Afghan girl in Peshawar, backed by her parents in pursuing education. Defying societal expectations after matriculation, her parents insisted she pursue higher education before considering marriage.

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Gulalai, eager to attend college, faced a hurdle as her father lacked understanding of the process. Seeking help, she approached a friend who volunteered to assist. Gulalai’s father, expressing his desire for her education, requested support for her college admission.

Encouraged by her father’s determination, Gulalai’s education journey began with the assistance of her friend. Despite societal disapproval, her father prioritized her education over critics’ opinions, ensuring her enrollment the next day.

Challenges arose when the government initiated the repatriation of Afghan refugees, causing concern for Gulalai’s father about her incomplete education upon return. To secure her studies, he traveled to Afghanistan, obtaining a student visa for her, relieving their fears.

Gulalai’s father challenges the stereotype that questions investing in girls’ education, asserting that educated women can skillfully manage households and shape future generations. His belief stems from recognizing the pivotal role women play in society’s development.

Today, more parents are prioritizing their daughters’ education, mirroring Gulalai’s father’s forward-thinking approach. These educated girls later excel in various fields, contributing to the nation’s progress in medicine, engineering, science, commerce, banking, and journalism.

In conclusion, echoing Gulalai’s father’s perspective, it is emphasized that nurturing educated mothers is pivotal for building strong nations. Following this lead, parents are encouraged to empower their Afghan daughters, contributing to a brighter future for Afghan society and the nation.

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