Despite security challenges and lack of opportunities for females, the number of females attending school in Afghanistan has increased by three percent this year, according to the Ministry of Education (MoE).
MoE has recorded an 11.5 million students in school of which 4.5 million are female students. The ministry emphasized that the number of females attending school will only increase when security conditions improve and better facilities and opportunities are provided for the girls.
"During the time of the Taliban, female presence in schools did not exist," spokesman to the MoE, Muhammad Kabir Haqmal said. "Today, 42 percent of our total student body is female. If security is maintained, conditions improve, and proper services and facilities are provided the number of females in school will be balanced with the male students."
Several teachers have become optimistic about the gains the females of the country are making by taking the first step of education.
"People's awareness has risen," Rona, a teacher, said. "People now understand the importance of education and are encouraging their girls to get one."
During the times of the Taliban regime, girls were not allowed to attend school, but after the fall of the group and the gains in the past 13 years the presence of females in schools has increased by 42 percent.