Leading advocate of girls’ education murdered in Afghanistan
- © UNESCO
- Afghanistan - Lycée Ferdeusi, students in classroom
03-10-2006 - Safia Ama Jan, a champion of education for girls and defender of women’s rights, was gunned down outside her home in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on 25 September. UNESCO’s Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, vigorously condemned the murder.
A former teacher, Safia Ama Jan risked her life during the reign of the Taleban by running an underground school for girls from her home. As the Director of Women’s Affairs in Kandahar Province, she worked tirelessly to get all Afghan girls back into school and to provide vocational training for women.
“Safia Ama Jan was assassinated because of her defence of women’s rights and her fierce determination to provide education for the girls of Afghanistan,” said the Director-General.
UNESCO plans to conduct a study on violence against education personnel, to be dedicated to the memory of Ms Ama Jan.