Angela Gahyour, a Voice of Hope for Afghan Women

According to UN statistics, 70% of teachers in Kabul were women, with the new regulations that ban them from the classroom, the educational system for men is also affected.


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The horrors of war and extremism often catch in their clutches a defenseless and undervalued sector of the population: women. This is currently happening in Afghanistan, where after 20 years since the fall of the regime, the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, and with it the freedoms that women had regained vanished.

The Taliban announced temporary limitations in order to "guarantee the safety" of women at the work and educational level, the lessons were suspended, and some reopened, but with male students and teachers

It is in this recent climate of uncertainty that Online Herat School was born, a school founded by Angela Ghayour, an Afghan resident in Brighton (UK) who firsthand experienced the regime's prohibitions.

When the civil war broke out in 1992, her family took refuge in Iran, Angela was 8 years old, and as an immigrant and deprived of documentation she was unable to attend school for 5 years until finally, her father was able to regularize the situation.

Angela identified with other Afghan children with the same situation she went through, so she decided to improvise classes in her garden and teach 14 minors.

When the Taliban were overthrown, Angela and her family returned to Afghanistan, she became a high school teacher and later moved to the Netherlands, finally to the UK.

Currently, female schooling has been banned from the age of seven, which led Angela to relive the horror of her early years. She decided to post a post on Instagram and about 400 volunteers, mostly Iranians, responded to her call by joining the education program. Currently, they teach about 1000 people through Telegram and Skype, more than 170 classes in different specialties, including crafts, languages, music, and art, which allows more and more women to aspire to go to other countries and pursue their own goals.

Recently, in five provinces of the country, women have been able to return to private colleges and universities, but they cannot carry out social activities or attend student meetings, however, this does not happen in Kabul or in the remaining 29 provinces, nor in public institutions. because it would mean dividing the classes for men and women, a budget that is not available, in addition, there is a new regulation for women that imposes again the use of the integral veil -burka- already used during the previous Taliban regime (1996-2001)

According to UN statistics, 70% of teachers in Kabul were women, with the new regulations that ban them from the classroom, the educational system for men is also affected.

Likewise, according to the Ministry of Education, in 2019 a third of the population over 15 years of age was illiterate, figures that could worsen

Also, 20% of the labor force was female, out of 40,000,000 inhabitants, 23,000,000 go hungry.

The Ministry of Women's Affairs was replaced by the Ministry for the propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice, following restrictive norms of Islamic doctrine that keep them segregated at home without the possibility of education, something that their own mothers suffered because the woman's role was to procreate and be a devoted wife.

Among the new impositions are:

* Do not travel by plane or travel more than 70 km without a male relative, which is also valid for medical check-ups.

* Do not drive or request permission.

* Do not leave your own home except for force majeure events.

There are exemplary punishments for the men of the clan in the event that women fail to comply with these norms, for which reason they are already watched and constrained from within their own home, in some cases increasing gender violence.


The most radical tradition even promotes child marriage for girls.

In a country where women have temporarily lost the right to dream, educate themselves and decide, severely testing their emotional, psychological, and mental balance, the educational program developed by Angela is a spiral of light and hope, so much so that the BBC included it in 2021 on its 100 Women list, which praises the work of women who fight for a better world

With her motto "the pen instead of the gun", she became a staunch opponent of the regime.

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