Amnesty International: Human Rights Day

“My father was a liberal and educated man.  He gave us an education and religious lessons and told us that we should work for the progress and prosperity of our country”

–          Parween

Parween runs a girls’ primary school in the Laghman province of Afghanistan. Due to her position as a promoter and provider of gender and educational rights, her and her family have suffered greatly at the hands of parties opposed to change and progress. These parties refer to Parween and her family as supporters of ‘Afghan-Americans’. They use scare tactics and terrorism to keep individuals such as Parween who fight for educational rights entrenched in a constant fear.

“If we want, we can leave this place and run away, but this is not our aim. Our main goal is to serve the people of this country by promoting education for children and rebuilding the country.”

The horrors Parween and her family have been subjected to include her children’s mobile phone numbers being traced and bombarded with threatening messages and phonecalls. Parween’s son Hamayoon was kidnapped and held hostage. Tragically, Parween didn’t see her son again until a year and three months later when his body was discovered by nomads.

Despite all the loss and pain she has endured, Parween continues to campaign for education in Afghanistan. Her story and her rationale for campaigning serves as a constant reminder as to why, more than ever, Millennium Development Goal 2 must be achieved and why governments, institutions and individuals must do everything within their power to see it realised.

We are committed to fulfilling our father’s wish. The only way to fight ignorant people is to promote education in this country.”

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