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RAWA distributes stationary and literacy books among women in a new established literacy school by RAWA in Kabul.

Natasha Walter ( The Guardian, July 20, 2002):

"... One day, for instance, I visited Sarasia, a bleak little village west of Kabul.... In one of the stark white houses, a literacy class is in progress. The women in this class couldn't be further from the educated elite. Soraya, for instance, is a widow of 50 and has been illiterate all her life. "If you are illiterate, it is as if you are blind," she says. Her eldest son doesn't want her to learn to read, but she has finally won his permission because this class is run by women for women in their own village.

...Aisha, a middle-aged woman whose husband is too old to work, says, "Because we are uneducated, we can't speak out and defend our rights. We don't want that for our daughters. We want them to know how to speak up in front of outsiders." ... "Of course we want more freedom," says Soraya. "Even women who are not allowed to come to this class want that. But our husbands and brothers and fathers don't want it. The mullahs keep saying freedom is not good for us."

The literacy course in Sarasia is funded by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. This extraordinary organisation has been going since 1977 and is a testament to the determined resilience of Afghan women. The thousands of RAWA members have worked underground and in exile for nearly 30 years - against the Soviet regime, the mujaheddin, the Taliban - and they are now stronger than ever. But although RAWA is beginning to operate more openly, most of its work is still anonymous and underground. Oddly, despite the west's much-touted support for a more liberal society, RAWA has never received support from any government. "

RAWA literacy course

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