In Afghanistan, 38% of school age children do not have access to education, these numbers drop dramatically among young girls and women as they only represent 12% of the literate population. Because of the multiple attacks on schools promoting girls’ education and the lack of proper school building and equipment, girls are often left out of the educational system .
Sajia Behgam, works as an associate professor of public policy at Kabul University. She has held multiple positions focused on women’s rights. During the Taliban years Ms. Behgam ran an underground school for girls as well as forming a youth network which continued to function in the post-Taliban era.
Behgam has worked as the program director at the Afghan Women Skills Development Center, dedicated to help women who have been victims of violence, abuse and torture. She was one of the first in Afghanistan to collect evidence based research to raise awareness on child marriage and forced marriage as major forms of violence against women. She consequently worked closely with the Supreme Court on the campaign on registration of marriage in order to prevent child and forced marriages.