One woman’s transformation: From student to teacher

Speeches Shim

Sunday, December 15, 2019
Nazari Sadat in her office.

In Afghanistan, women make up 34 percent of teachers (Source: The World Bank 2017). This limits girls and women from participating fully in society, as some families prohibit their daughters from interacting with male teachers. One Afghan woman has been changing this trend her entire life.

Nazari Sahat* started school in Kandahar Province at age five. After high school, she taught for three years at the same school where she was once a student, while pursuing a degree. In 2015, Nazari graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Kandahar University.

With her eyes set on a leadership role in the education sector, Naziri enrolled in USAID Promote Women’s Leadership Development program. Three months later, she was hired as the vice principal of the school she attended as a child.  Naziri said her goal as vice principal was to enroll more girls and ensure they remain in school. “Some girls had dropped out due to family restrictions. I met their parents and encouraged them to allow their daughters to return to school.” The families complied.

When Nazari wanted to further strengthen her management and administrative skills, she interned with USAID Promote Women in Government program. “When the Provincial Directorate of Education announced that it was recruiting for a new principal at my school, I applied for the position. USAID provided me with a guidebook and tailored coaching on the application process for the civil service exam.”

Nazari got the job. At age 22, she became the principal of the school with 2,500 students and 53 female teachers. “USAID’s internship program and my clear career plan helped me to reach this goal. Now I manage the school where I was once a student,” said Nazari.

USAID has trained over 3,000 women for government careers. Between April 2015 and September 2019, more than 1,100 secured jobs in the public and private sectors.

*Name changed

Last updated: October 22, 2020

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