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In a little reported attack in June, the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for murdering 14 school girls and 11 others in two bombings that sent a clear message on where these particular extremists stand on the matter of girls' right to education.More >>

Civil rights act being signed 1964

It's 2013, and black and white students are going to go to the same prom, for the first time ever.More >>

I keep a folder on my computer of attacks against girls' education in Afghanistan. It's full of stories of gas poisonings of girls' schools, murdered teachers, beheaded principles, arson of school buildings, acid attacks, and threats and 'night letters' warning communities to not send their daughters to school. It's a bulging folder.

Yesterday I added a new article, a story of less than 500 words in The Guardian reporting the murder of Khan Mohammad, a local man who headed the Porak Girls' School in Logar province. There are sparse details about Khan's life or the exact circumstances of his death, other than to mention that he was shot near his home and his son was injured in the attack. The rest of the article gives very basic background on the Taliban and discusses the findings of an unnamed February report on girls' education in Afghanistan (it's this report), as if to bulk up the story for lack of more to say.

It's tempting to file it away without further thought, just one more tragic story out of Afghanistan, for which there is never any shortage.

But Khan Mohammad's story was a triumph before it...More >>

Canadian taxpayers can be proud that modest contributions from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) over the past few years have supported an exceptional school in the heart of southern Afghanistan, the Afghan Canadian Community Centre.

Tucked away behind unassuming but protective gates down a quiet street in Kandahar city, hundreds of young people bustle in and out of the small building every day. Women swell the ACCC's classrooms in the day, while young men come for their classes in the evenings. Operating much like a community college, Kandaharis can take computer, business, marketing and English classes here that allow them to land good jobs and earn good incomes. They take online classes with Canadian profs at places like the South Alberta Institute of Technology, making use of the benefits offered by free software like Skype and Canadian 'virtual volunteers' keen to pitch in where they can.

In this deeply conservative setting, access to education opportunities like those offered at the ACCC are hard to come by. Many international and Afghan NGOs have no interest in going anywhere near Kandahar given its precarious security situation, while it is the southern region that most needs more social...More >>


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