(Portions of this post are taken from the Morning Star Development August, 2023 Newsletter. The above photo from Unsplash shows Afghan women refugees protesting the Taliban in another country.)
Recently I was sitting with an Afghan friend, and she showed me a video from TikToc. She told me, “Look! I have something for you to see!” The video was of American woman telling viewers about how “safe and exciting and interesting” Afghanistan was, even for a (covered) single woman walking the streets in a city market! She was smiling and browsing through the marketplace probably in Kabul. My Afghan friend said, “Do you notice there are NO OTHER WOMEN in the market place?” I hadn’t noticed until she said it, and then I asked her, half jokingly, “Do you think she’s the new PR person for the Taliban?”
In reality, Afghan women cannot be outside to shop, let alone be by themselves in public! One group that has worked in Afghanistan for many years is Morning Star Development (msdev.org). For years they have served tirelessly to bring job training and education to both men and women in that nation. But when the country fell to the Taliban, all western staff had to leave. Many went to neighboring nations, along with the refugees who were fleeing. Today, they are still serving these refugees in surrounding nations.
In their August letter Morning Star wrote: “For Afghan teenage girls there is no public school. Some sit at home watching their little brothers carry backpacks of books out the door. Others bear hearts full of dreams that were shattered as they were turned away from the universities . Since the government collapse of 2021, Afghan women have been forced to remain home, isolated from community, workplaces, and schools. This gloomy situation has caused severe depression, desperate hopelessness, and many suicide attempts, especially among teenagers and young girls. These girls suffer and the country is in crisis.”
“When women are educated, families thrive, economies are strengthened, and inequality is reduced (UNICEF). Afghanistan is in desperate need of such renewal as decades of war and violence have subjected it to severe poverty, famine, mother and child malnutrition, morbidity, disabilities, and illiteracy. Afghan women are the most impacted class of all.”
Yet a few private schools that accept women are in the outlying, rural areas of the country. These schools give the teenage girls hope and a future.
If you would like to help champion women and support the work of Morning Star Development, please visit their website at msdev.org and learn more.
And, in case you haven’t seen it, here is The Waiting World video about one of the unreached people groups of Afghanistan (shot before the Taliban took over):