For 11 years, Farah’s days would start and end the same: she woke up early to help her mother with household chores. She took care of the family’s goats. She worked alongside her older sister. The only interactions she had with those outside her family were people who inquired for her mother’s services; as a birth attendant,
For most of her childhood, Farah was one of the 22.8 million children in Pakistan left out of school. Most of those children are girls, leading to a void of educated Pakistani women: in some parts of the country, up to 75 percent of women have not completed primary school.
Late last year, however, Farah’s uncle visited her parents. The first-ever girls’ school was opening in their village, he told them. Farah listened from another room as her uncle said something unprecedented: he wanted Farah’s parents to add her to the list.
“I didn’t know what a school was and I didn’t know what the word education even meant. My mother told me school was a place to learn, write, calculate and become a better human being. She told me that come what may, she would find a way to send me to school.”