Woman Online University offers free education to thousands of Afghan girls

By Omar

A young woman, banned from going to college, attends online classes at Woman Online University in Herat City April 16. [Omar/Salaam Times]

A young woman, banned from going to college, attends online classes at Woman Online University in Herat City April 16. [Omar/Salaam Times]

HERAT -- Following the indefinite closure of universities for Afghan girls late last year, a group of London-based educated and activist Afghan women launched the Woman Online University.

Tens of thousands of girls were deprived of education and forced to stay home after the closure of universities for girls in December 2022.

In the past five months, 8,250 girls have enrolled in the online university and continued their education.

They study medicine, economics, psychology, law and political science, literature, agriculture, education, engineering, journalism, computer science, and other subjects.

There are 250 male and female lecturers both inside and outside Afghanistan who teach online, said Farida Haidari, deputy director for administration of the Woman Online University, based in France.

"When the universities were closed for girls, we decided to provide a viable alternative for them to continue their education," she said. "We started the online university so that girls across 34 provinces of the country can continue their education from their homes."

Girls can apply to the university through its social media pages and they are placed in classes according to their field of study, Haidari said.

"Education at the Woman Online University is free for all girls," she said. "They connect daily to their classes via Zoom and Google Meet and take their lessons. Teachers are also volunteers and teach for free."

The girls studying at Woman Online University will receive graduation certificates upon the completion of their studies, Haidari added.

'A glimmer of hope'

The Woman Online University offers a window of hope for girls who are otherwise deprived of education and for whom the gates of universities are shut.

Zohra Azizi, 20, a second-year economics student at Balkh University, said she is very happy to be able to continue her education at the Woman Online University.

"Qualified lecturers teach daily according to their schedule across different fields of studies," she said. "The teaching level is high and I feel like I am studying in a university classroom."

"I call on all girls deprived of attending universities to join the Woman Online University and continue their education," she said. "Women should never give in to restrictions and should realise their dreams and aspirations through education and knowledge."

In the current situation in which schools and universities are closed for girls, continuing education virtually is the right approach and girls should turn restrictions into opportunities, Azizi said.

The ban on girls' education is the greatest injustice Afghan girls face, said Najma Samkani, 25, a resident of Paktia province and a fifth-year medical student at Kabul University.

"When I was denied the right to study, I stayed at home for several months and cried day and night," she said. "I have been studying for 18 years and would have graduated from medical school in two years and would have become a doctor."

"When the university was closed, I felt like I was dead and turned into a soulless body," she added.

Afghan girls' resilience and their resistance against the harsh restrictions imposed on them is the struggle of right against wrong, Samkani said.

"I am very happy about the opportunity to study again," she said. "Woman Online University is a glimmer of hope amid the height of despair."

Calls to reopen educational centres

Suraya Ayoubi, 22, a first-year law and political science student at Herat University, has been confined to her home for around six months.

She said she and all other girls want an end to the ban on girls' education.

"I wait impatiently every day for news in the media of universities being reopened, but the continued restriction is very disappointing," Ayoubi said. "It is very difficult to live in such an uncertain situation and be deprived of our given rights."

With the closure of her university, she said she sees her 14 years of hard work and dreams being destroyed.

"The United Nations and powerful countries should use their power and influence to exert pressure so that universities are reopened for girls," she added.

Sadaf Akhtarzada, a fourth-year economics student at Herat University, is excited to enroll in online classes.

She would have graduated and had a job and income by now if girls and women were not banned from education and work, she said.

"We don't know what sin we have committed that we are being deprived of our Islamic and human right," she said. "We have always observed the hijab at the university and besides science we studied Islamic subjects, but ironically we are deprived of our Islamic right in the name of Islam."

"Every country is built by its educated men and women," Akhtarzada added. "A country cannot progress when women are deprived of education."

Every day that passes with the ban on girls' education, Afghanistan takes one step backwards and remains behind other countries, she said.

"Universities must reopen for the sake of Afghanistan's progress and the improvement of Afghans' lives."

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It is great that these girls who have got deprived of higher education, can reach at their goal with your help and cooperation. Thanks for your cooperation.


Once I finish my degree I will defend these eon n at the icj


Thanks for your cooperation. How can I register in my favourite class?


Computer Science


How to admit my self in this university?


Thank you for your assistance in advance. Please let me know, how could I enroll in my favorite online course.


Our bad luck is that some national cadres have left, and others are trying to escape. I read on the BBC Pashto website that the number of lecturers at Kabul University who have fled Afghanistan has now exceeded 400 lecturers. According to the report, there were about 780 professors at Kabul University during the last year of the Republican government. Still, after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, more than half of these professors left the country. The BBC says that many of the lecturers who left Afghanistan told them that one of the main reasons for leaving was the interference of the Taliban government in the academic environment. In contrast, others have left for their security. So far, nearly 90 lecturers have been appointed to replace the outgoing lecturers, and some have been transferred from other provincial universities to Kabul. Most of the Mullahs in this group are deprived of modern education. This is the pain of my country, which I and other people cannot say, they are forced to hide it, and the more these issues are hidden, the more our country is thrown into the mouth of the monster.


Women's education is a broad-based term for complex topics and discussions for girls and women that encompasses primary education, secondary education, post-secondary education (higher education), and especially health education. This is often referred to as girls' or women's education, which includes gender equality and access to education. The education of women and girls is an essential link for eradicating poverty. Related broad topics include education in separate classrooms for women and religious education, where education is divided along gender lines. Inequalities in education for women and girls are complex. Women and girls face obvious obstacles to going to school, such as violence against women or girls being prevented from going to school. While other problems such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education are very regular and less prominent, they have deep roots in Europe and North America. In some Western countries, women are better than men at most levels of education, but in Afghanistan, not much attention has been paid to this part. Improving the education level of girls has a clear impact on young women's health and economic future, which in turn enhances the landscape or end of their entire society. The death rate of children whose mothers have primary education is half that of children whose mothers are illiterate. In the world's poor countries, 50% of girls do not attend secondary school, but recently, in Afghanistan, girls have been


In the last three years, Afghan girls have been deprived of getting education, and they don't know what will happen to them in the future. They are sitting at home with thousands of dreams and counting the moments when the gates of school and university will open for them. Online university is also a good way to study, but the classroom is different from home. We ask the current government of Afghanistan to open the gates of schools for girls and allow them to study. "Getting knowledge is obligatory for both men and women" girls have the right to study and there is no prohibition against girls studying in any religion. In the Islamic religion, girls are also given the right to learn.


Afghans have a reputation for fighting wars. I have heard this a lot, but I don't believe it. And I do not think that because our young generation is busy making friends with books, day by day the roots of friendship with the book are getting stronger. The fourth week of the month of Sawar [the third week of May[ is named Study and Book reading week in Afghanistan, celebrated in educational and higher educational institutions. Also, book exhibitions are held there. People buy their favorite books in it. They read and publish it on their Facebook pages, increasing the number of readers of the same books. Now is not the old time when people did not know the benefits of books. Now everyone knows that reducing mental stress, increasing knowledge, improving spelling and grammar, and increasing the ability to concentrate are the continuous benefits of reading or studying. Therefore, including other special days, every year, the fourth week of the month of Sawar is celebrated in the dear country of Afghanistan to study and read books so that students of universities and higher education institutions, school students, and science lovers Acquaintance with books and studies and increase the value of reading the books in the society. So the main thing is that closing the doors of universities and schools has been ordered by others. We want a good life for ourselves and our sister and daughter. This good life is only connected with reading books. It is related to the friendship of books.


Universities and other scientific institutions are the bases of the development of the countries. These institutions are man-making machines or factories where uneducated people are used as raw materials, and mature or expert people are made from them. Today, we will divide the world into two parts, the developed world, and the backward world, which means that the developed world countries have worked on universities long ago, have invested, and are now getting its fruits. They are still benefiting their future generations. They work hard to train others. The world's developed countries have brought the universities to such an extent that they not only educate their future generations but also turn them into income centers for their countries. In this sense, they sell their knowledge to backward countries; they sell their research, training, workshops, teaching materials, and scholarships. In short, it is because of having these educational institutions and investing in them that they have changed the external and internal shape of the world. The difference is that other people leave humans alone; they allocate money for animal care, and we have closed schools and universities for humans. Do not show kindness and do not blame the fact that the world has become a field of competition among the countries. Everyone wants to work to improve the lives of the citizens of their country. Education is important. Whether it's online or face-to-face, it's important to learn. Afghans shou


Undoubtedly, universities and other academic centers train people and bring society to the better side. It is also true that in many countries, especially in the United States, universities and educational centers have become income sources, and the countries benefit from it. At the same time, it is essential to pay attention to the point that based on development, countries are divided into two types: first, there are developed countries in which basic human needs are met, job opportunities are according to the market, or there are more work opportunities, and they also give jobs to people from other countries. Besides, it has robust technology and advanced economies. Another category of countries is called developing countries. That is, countries that are not developed but are taking steps towards development. These steps may be small, but they are ongoing. With this in mind, terms like backward or remaining behind are considered pejorative for developing countries. Many factors prevent countries from developing.
I saw a graph one day. In that graph, in 1977, Afghanistan's economy was more robust than India's, while today, India is trying to become the second or third most significant economic power in the world in the following few years. That is, if Afghanistan had gone ahead, now Afghanistan would be a developed country like the United States and Europe. Still, unfortunately, first, the Russians invaded Afghanistan, killed people, and destroyed the rural areas of Afghanis