Before the Taliban militia came to power in 1996, women and girls made up 50% of the university student population and 70% of all school teachers. Soon after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, however, they banned women and girls from attending school. Today, Afghan women students and teachers risk their lives daily to run clandestine schools, and in most cases, are unable to receive any education under penalty of death. Last September, the Feminist Majority Foundation launched the Back to School Campaign to promote educational opportunities to Afghan women and girls, and increase pressure on the US and the UN to restore the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.
Already the campaign boasts over 600 action teams including Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances, Affiliates, and Choices activists from BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY (MA), MARIETTA COLLEGE (OH), UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY, SPELMAN COLLEGE, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY, SUNY STONY BROOK, RUTGERS (NY), UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN AT MILWAUKEE, EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, VANDERBILT, UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND (OR), WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY, OGELTHORPE UNIVERSITY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, TEXAS A&M, COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, and NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY (IL). The CORNELL UNIVERSITY FMLA AFFILIATE
Students Acting for Gender Equality (SAGE) is organizing a forum on gender apartheid in Afghanistan. For more information about the Cornell event, contact Tamara Stover. You can take direct action on your campus to help Afghan women and girls by creating a scholarship at your school for the Afghan Women’s Scholarship Program, launching a petition campaign, or adopting an Afghan girl’s school in Pakistan or Afghanistan! Join the Back To School Campaign.