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An Afghan woman received help to pursue her university education after her photo went viral on Facebook.
A university teacher snapped the photo of Jahan Taab when she was taking a university entrance exam with her two-month-old child. The photo, which captured the woman sitting on the floor to calm her crying child, made the rounds on social media. It also received positive responses, including a pledge to fund Taab’s university education.
Taab scored 152 out of the possible 200 points in the exam, making her eligible to attend a university in Nili, Daykundi Province, and take up social science. However, Taab was worried that financial difficulties and the distance of the university to her home would prevent her from studying.
Luckily, Zahra Yagana, a women’s rights activist, decided to help after seeing Taab’s photo. Yagana not only helped Taab with university fees, but also with her rent in the city. Afghan Youth Association, a UK-based charity, is also raising funds to help Taab. The association thinks that Taab is a role model to other Afghan women who face similar challenges.
Taab is among millions of women in Afghanistan who can now go to school after the education ban on women was lifted back in 2011. The number continues to rise as the government launches several initiatives to improve women’s access to education in the country.
In 2016, women comprised 22.8% of Afghanistan’s total student population. The government aims to raise this figure to 25% by 2020.