Afghan women entrepreneurs defy Taliban curbs on women’s education

Hundreds of Afghan women have enrolled in online and in-person classes that are secretly held in several parts of the country under Project Soraya and Code to Inspire.

As an education advocate, Pashtana Durrani has worked through her charity LEARNAfg to provide education to children in rural areas, especially girls, since 2017.

But when the Taliban took over in August and the group excluded girls from returning to secondary school temporarily until a “safe learning environment” could be established, Durrani set up secret digital classes in science, technology, engineering and maths on tablets.

About 100 teenage girls in southern Afghanistan are enrolled in the online and in-person underground classes.

“We started a GoFundFe page and gathered some funds to buy tablets and pay the teachers. It’s all underground. Nothing is through banks or money transfers. It’s all in cash,” Durrani told TRTWorld.

Named after Queen Soraya of Afghanistan, the first Afghan woman to serve as the country’s minister of education, Durrani hopes to expand Project Soraya to other parts of the country.

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