Mosque-based Literacy Classes for Women

Women's Literacy Classes in Malistan DistrictWomen's Literacy Classes in Malistan DistrictAn estimated 79% of Afghan women and girls cannot read and write, but for the Hazara ethnic communities in the central highlands, literacy for women and the education of  was common before the Taliban. In early 2002, at a community meeting organized by Future Generations in Jaghori District of Ghazni Province, the local leaders chose literacy for women as one of their initial work plan projects.

Rather than waiting on government assistance to build a school and provide a teacher,  Future Generations helped the community identify its available resources:

  • the mosque as a classroom, and
  • one woman in the village who had obtained up to an eighth grade education.

With these local assets, the first mosque-based school began with women and girls meeting six days a week.

In three-years, this idea spread to include 400 mosque-based schools teaching approximately 11,000 women and girls in Ghazni and Dai Kundi Provinces. The communities provided the classroom space and supported the literacy teacher. 

Quickly, the women wanted to put their literacy to use. They asked for health manuals and learning in skills that would benefit their families. Future Generations worked to integrate health training and food preparation and storage into the existing literacy classes.

In 2007, this emphasis on mosque-based literacy classes also extended to village homes.

To date, communities in partnership with Future Generations have established 933 home and mosque-based classes in literacy, health and income generation for 25,597 beneficiaries, 71% being women and girls.