Shabana Basij- Rasikh, grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 1996 when Baij-Rasikh was just about six, the Taliban issued a series of decrees that severely restricted the life of women and girls including banning all girls over the age of 8 from attending schools. The penalty for violating the decree was execution. Shabana Basik-Raiskh attended school dressed as a boy.
The situation changed in 2002 and girls were allowed to go back to school. Yet Afghanistan remains a country that is among the most challenged on female literacy levels with only 12 percent of Afghan women being literate.
Basij-Rasikh has remained unwaveringly committed to the education of girls in Afghanistan. She opened the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA), a nonprofit dedicated to giving young Afghans access to quality education abroad and jobs back home, the nation’s first boarding school for girls. SOLA provides college preparatory courses to students aged 11 to 19 representing all major ethnic groups, religious sects, and tribes. It also helps graduates enter universities worldwide. Basij-Rasikh is a global ambassador for Girl Rising, a call to action seeking investment in girls’ education worldwide.