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It’s been almost five years since a group of young Afghan women on their way to school were assaulted in a horrific attack in November 2008. Men threw acid on the girls' faces, and three were seriously injured. Mrs. Bush spoke out at the time and called them “cowardly and shameful acts.”
Today, one of the girls has the courage to return to the classroom – as a teacher. Shamsia Husseini , now 22 years old, not only returned to school after the attacks, she has continued to speak out against violence against women in Afghanistan and champions girls’ education as a fourth grade teacher at an all-girls’ school in Kandahar.
"It was very important for me to become a teacher as it shows people that the attackers did not win, just like we came back to school after the attack,” Shamsia said recently to Agence France-Presse. “By teaching, I want to show that education is important and that women can do more than work in the kitchen." Shamsia’s courage inspires us all.
Over the last twelve years, Afghan women have made tremendous gains. They need us to continue to support them so the Taliban do not gain grounds and return to the brutal repression of women. Today, Afghan girls can attend school. Women hold important positions in local and national government and play a vital role in the economy. But Shamsia’s story also reminds us that serious threats to women and girls remain.
The Bush Institute’s Afghan Women’s Project spotlights the struggles and successes of Afghan women by telling their personal stories, publishing briefings and reports, and highlighting beneficial projects. Learn more about how you can help ensure that dignity and opportunity will be secured for all the women and children of Afghanistan.
Read the recent article about Shamsia here: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/afghan-schoolgirl-scarred-in-acid-attack-now-a-teacher-440254
What’s Happening in Afghanistan?
While there have been tremendous gains in Afghanistan, lack of security threatens these gains daily.
Q&A with Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi, Member of Parliament, Afghanistan
Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi is a member of the national assembly of Afghanistan. She represents Badakhshan province in the Wolesi Jirga (house of representatives). Her story is one of survival, pursuit of dreams, and dedication to women’s well-being and health. Here, Dr. Ibrahimi shares her thoughts on the current state of Afghan women’s empowerment, the challenges women face in achieving equal rights, and the impact women have on the country’s long-term peace, security, and prosperity.
In Case You Missed It: The Breadwinner, an animated film about the strength and resilience of Afghan women and girls, premieres in the U.S.
The Breadwinner, a new animated film from executive producer Angelina Jolie, tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her, and ultimately risks her life to discover if he is still alive. The Breadwinner is an inspiring reminder of the power of stories, and their potential to unite and heal us all. It also provides an important spotlight on the struggle endured by Afghan families during the Taliban regime and the resilience of women and girls and their influence in building a brighter future for Afghanistan. Last year, the Bush Institute released We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope, which spotlights more of these courageous stories of Afghan women. Learn more about the book and our work by visiting:&nb