Afghanistan is one main country that would be positively impacted if they went through the same political and governmental changes as Canada, especially the empowerment of women. Unfortunately, Afghanistan has gone through many years of political instability and conflict from Soviet rule to the Taliban and finally the War in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s education system is one of weakest systems in the world and the population is still one of the least educated. (AKFC 2010) Unfortunately, women’s rights, freedoms and education is at an ultimate low. When the Taliban ruled, girls were not allowed to go to school. But after NATO and other international forces got involved due to the war, education for girls has become a top priority. Thankfully, Canada has seen what empowering women does to a nation and developed a main goal to increase the rights of all the Afghani women. Educating women allows them to work towards having rights, power, making an income and impacting the development of the nation in the long run. (AKFC, 2010) A program that wants to improve girl’s education in Afghanistan is the Girls Education Support Program (GESP) implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). The program wants to develop secure, sustainable education for girls by prompting a supportive leaning environment and increasing learning opportunities.
GESP helps the Government of Afghanistan meet its goal for Education for All, the UN convention on the Rights of the Child, MDGs and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The program aims to improve and increase early childhood education, investments in teacher training for women, secondary education for girls, and school facilities. (McLaughlin, 2007) There are three main objectives of the program listed in the report. The first one is to increase the access girls have to learning opportunities and make sure girls continue to get a higher level of education in Afghanistan. A more immediate goal for this objective is to develop and demonstrate a replicable approach to increasing and improving girl’s education in the core program areas of Bamyan, Baghlan and Badakhshan. The second one is to improve the quality of teaching and learning practices so that there is a safe and supportive learning environment for girls. The third objective is to improve capacity and commitment among stakeholders to further girl’s education. These goals are related to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of securing primary education for all children by 2015. Currently Afghanistan ranks third in a list of 10 countries that are failing to meet this goal. GESP aims to help achieve this MDG goal through the implementation of the program and working with the Ministry of Education to help create national policies and programs. (AKFC, 2010)