Afghanistan’s National Unity Government (NUG) has been working to build the country’s first-ever women’s university in Kabul, according to first lady Rula Ghani.
President Ashraf Ghani has started to implement a major campaign promise, which is to build the university, his wife said during a press briefing Wednesday, reports Khaama Press.
The press conference was also attended by cabinet members, including Higher Education Minister Farida Mohmand, civil society activists, and women students.
“Building a university for girls is one of the promises of Mr. Ghani that he vowed during presidential campaigns and now we are on the eve of its implementation,” she said, TOLO News reports. “Those girls that are not allowed to study at other universities can continue their higher education in this university,” added the first lady.
She said the higher education institution would be established in the near future, noting that preparations were already underway. Nevertheless, the first lady did not specifically say when the government would inaugurate the university.
Turkey will help build the university, which is expected to be named Mawlana Afghan-Turk University, revealed minister Mohmand. “This university will be built on at least 47 acres of land in Tap-e-Maranjan area in Kabul,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, Nasrin Oryakhil from Afghanistan’s Labor and Social Affairs Ministry vowed to provide employment for the future university graduates. “As the minister of labor and social affairs we are committed to providing jobs, training and entrepreneurship opportunities for graduates of the university,” she said.
TOLO News quotes Mark English, the chancellor of the American University in Afghanistan, as saying, ”The American University always supports anything that is going to advance the education for women in Afghanistan.” He added, “We are willing to give all of our support in terms of helping develop programs, and helping to increase their resources so that we can get this initiative started.”
International Business Times noted that “schools and colleges, especially places where girls are educated, are frequently targeted by Taliban Islamists in Afghanistan.”
Extremists consider education for women “haram” or “unIslamic.”
In December 2014, the Taliban targeted a school attended by girls in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing at least 145 people, including 132 children, 10 school staff members, and three soldiers, in addition to 100 injuries. Most of the of the fatalities were 12 to 16 years old, reported CNN.
“On a typical day, the Army Public School and Degree College is home to about 1,100 students and staff, most of them sons and daughters of army personnel from around Peshawar, though others attend as well,” noted the report.