More literate Afghan women thanks to UN agencies, CIDA

Stand alone U.N. agencies, WFP and UNICEF, are seeing a joint food-for-literacy program established between them benefit Afghan women. “During the Taliban time there were no girls schools,” proclaimed 19-year-old Shakila Rahmatullah. “There was no opportunity for girls to go to school,” she added. The initiative seeks to encourage women to read and write, unheard of during the Taliban’s reign, in exchange for food. “They are coming out on the pretext that they’re bringing in food to the house, but in reality they are learning,” UNICEF representative Sam Mawunganidze said. “There are some of these family members who say ‘Yes, go. At least there is food. Yes we can sacrifice you not doing the household activities because we know you are bringing in food.” The Canadian International Development Agency allocated USD1.5 million to the project last year, causing enrollment to increase by 80 percent.

Source: CIDA-funded food-for-literacy program makes life easier for Afghan women (The Canadian Press)

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