We don’t usually spend time considering the impacts of human choice unless our power to choose for ourselves is taken away. But for many young women living in Central Asia, the right to choose how their lives unfold was never an option. Whether dictated by culture, circumstance, family, or poverty, their paths are often already set. These young women may never make their own decisions about their career, their spouse, or even how they spend their days.
It’s all too common for women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan to surrender their chance for education and career to help their struggling families, frequently by marrying an older man or working as low-wage laborers.
But self-determination is a dream that many young women hold onto. And for the hundreds of women who received scholarships each year from Central Asia Institute, choosing education over old cultural norms allows them to discover their own power, their own ability to make the world a better place.
Whether in your own community or by lending support from afar, you have the opportunity to help these women exercise their right to choose the path their life takes. CAI works hard to identify and give financial support to women of all ages – pursuing their dreams of education in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. And for a Tajiki teacher approaching the age of 50, the chance to make her own life choices is more important now than ever.
Learn about Safarkhotun's journey.