Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Karla Giuliano Sarr


Afghanistan has undergone almost 40 years of war and instability and these different wars have had a huge impact on Afghan girls and women as each regime brought new rules for women’s opportunities, in particular, their access to education. This Independent Practitioner Inquiry Capstone (IPIC) paper explores the idea of female empowerment in the Afghanistan context in order to better understand the connection with education related to empowerment, education, gender, agency and mentorship. This small-scale qualitative study relies upon a combination of interviews and autoethnographical data and may provide additional insights into how education influences empowerment in the lives of Afghan women and girls. For the purpose of this study, five Afghan women have been interviewed who currently live in the U.S, but have lived most of their lives in Afghanistan. This study provides information about what Afghan women already know about women’s empowerment and how they can relate their education with the idea of empowerment. It will also bring out some suggestions from women about what needs to be done in order for them to feel empowered and supported in a country like Afghanistan, where women are continuously struggling to get educated and face different forms of violence. The study findings cover four major themes: the impact of war and gender on women, understanding empowerment, developing a sense of empowerment and agency, and education in relation to leadership and mentorship. Some of the major outcomes of this study is that Afghan women argue that education has a very important role in their lives in terms of empowerment, agency, and how they function in the society. In addition, the study also reveals that besides education, family’s support and having mentors who can really encourage women along their development may contribute significantly to feelings of greater empowerment.


Education | Other Education | Women's Studies