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Talking with Women Trainees from Afghanistan – an internal university seminar


From January 22 to 31, 2015, a training program for Afghani women was conducted with support from the Nonoyama Endowment for Women’s Education in Afghanistan and Other Developing Countries. In this year’s program, the third batch, a lecturer in biology at the university in Afghanistan, who completed a master’s program at Ochanomizu as a national scholarship student, and a lecturer in maths in the same university, took part in a short term training program in knowledge in their specialist fields and teaching methods, with professors Yoshihito Mori and Kei Yura.

On the last day of their training program, January 29, a public seminar was held, titled Talking with Women Trainees from Afghanistan. One trainee spoke first about children’s education in Afghanistan, followed by another trainee, who gave a presentation on the life and education of women in Afghanistan, after which there was a question and answer session and information exchange with attendees. The audience included students and academic staff, and people with an interest in the peace and restoration of Afghanistan.

What seminar participation meant for me

Until I took part in the seminar, I knew almost nothing about education in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has many educational problems, but in particular the way in which education for girls is disdained, and regional variations in education, are issues that in my view cannot be left unaddressed. That is because whether or not someone can access basic education has the greatest influence on a person’s life thereafter. Many industrialized nations, including Japan, have and still do experience problems of disparity in the education of boys and girls and between regions. I got a sense that there must be something Japan can do. The work of Malala Yousafzai is famous, and suggests that the problem of education for girls in the Islamic area is heading in the direction of resolution, but this seminar reaffirmed for me that the reality is not that simple.

(Nozomi Koyama, 1st year student,
Division of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Letters and Education)

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