Poverty prevents girls' education in Afghanistan

4th March 2011 at 00:00

Efforts to educate more girls in Afghanistan are being undermined by poverty in the war-torn country, aid agencies have warned.

Girls are dropping out of school to help support their families and because their families are too poor to pay for transport and uniforms, a report by 16 charities, including Oxfam and CARE, has found.

There are now 2.4 million Afghan girls enrolled in school, compared with just 5,000 in 2001 - a 480-fold increase.

But the report, High Stakes, says quality of education is still variable, school conditions are poor and half a million girls do not attend regularly.

The charities interviewed 1,600 girls, parents and teachers in 17 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

Earlier this year, Afghanistan's education minister, Farooq Wardak, said that discussions with the Taliban had led to an agreement that girls were entitled to go to school.

When the Taliban ruled from 1996-2001, the education of girls was outlawed and anyone found flouting the rule faced repercussions.

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