Girls Education: A Quiet Revolution in Kashmir after Quake
While her school is simple – a tent and chalkboard – the smile it brings to the children attending is symbolic of a quiet revolution. Like Niaz, many girls from this valley near the quake’s epicenter used to spend afternoons working the fields, just as their mothers did before them. Cycles of poverty combined with strict religious mores have meant a literacy rate of less than 2 percent for women and girls in this North West Frontier Province. But now hundreds of girls are attending school for the first time, learning math and science, Urdu and English in tents at the Maira Camp, a relief center where some 20,000 people live. Many parents, when presented with the option, eagerly agreed to send their daughters.