Women Hold Up Half the Sky

In honor of Women’s History Month, we would like to present Mohammad Saleh, a new world, Islamic male feminist. Mohammed is a husband, a father, and a believer in the integrity of women’s rights. He educates his daughters, and is hopeful that they will pursue the highest degree of education.

altMohammed recognizes the importance of Women’s History Month, and March 8th, which is Women’s Day, as he supports women’s struggles for basic human rights in Afghanistan. “As a male teacher, I always support women all over the country and highly respect this day,” he asserts. Now a resident of Pakistan, he experienced first hand the blatantly cruel gender discrimination inflicted by the Taliban in Afghanistan. “During war, rights of women in our country were completely demolished, their rights were not recognized, they were treated as non-living things. Now we are fortunate to celebrate the Woman’s Day.”

Furthermore, he promotes Human Rights, specifically women’s rights, in his classroom. “Boys and girls have equal rights in this society, so the teachers should be careful to this point, because every human being has same rights,” Mohammed emphasizes. He charges teachers with the responsibility to promote and uphold gender equality. “Now, if the teachers do not pay attention to the discrimination among the girl and boy students, we will not have a better and brighter society for the next generation.”

Mohammed is a unique individual. He has been teaching for ten years at the Kulalkhana Girls High School, between the Gozareaqmasjed and Kulalkhana villages, in Pakistan. He teaches grades 4-8 the languages of Dari (an ethnolect spoken by 8,000-15,000 people in South Asia), Pashto (Native language of the Pashtun people of South Central Asia), Arabic, Uzbeki, as well as Islamic and Social studies. His classes range in size from 40-60 students.

What makes Mohammed a truly special teacher is his progressive outlook on woman’s education. “It is my great ambition to teach the students in a better way and present them as gifts to society.” He sees great value in the opportunity he provides his female students. Furthermore, he has great expectations for them to succeed and contribute their skills and education to society.

Mohammed advocates for the rights of his daughters, his wife, and the women of Afghanistan and Pakistan primarily by promoting their education. “I am trying my best to present literate and educated persons to society, therefore I let my daughters go to school. I hope to maintain and provide them opportunities for continuing their lessons and getting their Masters and Doctorate Degrees.”

Mohammed is a modern advocate of the ancient Chinese proverb, “Women hold up half the sky”.