How often do we come across stories where we see a father investing in his daughters’ education? Seldom. Especially if the family is the resident of a conservative country like Afghanistan, these instances catch our eyes ever and anon. But Mia Khan beats all odds for the education of his daughters despite all social, economic, and cultural barriers. He teaches them to invade the world through their pen.
Following the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001, the education system had undergone a change in the country, especially for girls. Now, the girls in Afghanistan are bestowed with the opportunity to go to schools and receive a formal education.
But in countries like Afghanistan, it’s never too easy to be directed to the right path in a jiffy. The exterior of the country might change, but it’s the interior that needs attention. Conservatism still prevails in some rural parts of the country where there are still some barriers in girls’ education including their safety, lack of schools, and lack of the availability of teachers. Some families, for petty cultural reasons, still don’t allow their girls to acquire education.
Mia Khan pushed back all these conservative beliefs and is committed to giving his daughters their very deserved chance at education. Khan hails from southeastern Paktika province, the conservative region of Afghanistan, and travels about 12 kilometers every day on a motorcycle to drop his three daughters off at school and then pick them up also.
Not only this, but he also waits four hours outside the school for his daughters to attend school so he can bring them back home.
Khan’s main motive behind this struggle is to educate his daughters so that they can have a different experience in life than he and his wife. He aspires his daughters to doctors so that they can help his community. “I am illiterate, and I live on a daily wage, but my daughters’ education is very valuable to me because there is no female doctor in our area. It is my greatest desire to educate my daughters like my sons,” Khan said.
Khan has three sons and eight daughters, of which, three daughters are in school while the rest of them are too young.
With poor economic background, Khan was faced with the dilemma where he could just send his sons to school so that they could help him in his future, as per the realistic approach of our society. But Khan did not compromise on his daughters’ education, “I couldn’t do that with my daughters. I felt that I needed to make sure their future was secured and that they studied to make something of themselves and serve their country,” Khan said.
Mia Khan has set an exceptional example for all the fathers in the world and is a hope for those girls who are striving for equal educational rights in the conservative areas of Pakistan.