Afghan girl’s struggle for education highlighted in UN-backed theatrical production

27 Nov 2016

Afghan girl’s struggle for education highlighted in UN-backed theatrical production

HERAT - The story of an Afghan girl who convinces her family to let her complete her schooling, rather than get married, was at the centre of a series of UNAMA-backed theatre performances in the country’s western Herat province.

Hundreds of students from four high schools in Herat attended several ‘We Can Do It’ shows led by female and male actors from the Herat Theatre Department.

In the latest performance, a girl named Nagin must grapple with the boundaries of her family’s conservative values. But with the help of a teacher, Nagin is able to complete her studies and later develops a career before getting married.

Effat Rahimi, the young female actor who played Nagin, said the character could be an example for all Afghan girls, many of whom face similar challenges.

Child marriage is illegal but widespread in Afghanistan, particularly in rural areas, according to the UN Population Fund. The practice can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation.

The Herat theatrical performances were broadcast over Asia television, reaching an estimated 500,000 people throughout the province, which shares a border with both Iran and Turkmenistan, and is known as a key Afghan trading gateway.

UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' ' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.

UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.