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Shabana Basij-Rasikh (Co-Founder and President, SOLA)
Webinar Series: Women are changing the world
Webinar Topic: Empowering with education
Webinar Date: March 6, 2021
The world has changed in New York and London, in Delhi and Mumbai, and in my home city of Kabul. But if we step outside our familiar urban boxes, another world is waiting: a world without webinars…a world where access to such things simply doesn’t exist.
In this other world, what has changed is a deepening of existing inequalities; a deepening that disproportionately affects women and girls. In this other world beyond our computer screens, more than 130 million girls are being deprived of a basic human right. This is the right to be educated – and education will be the equalizer that dismantles the wall between the two worlds.
Shabana Basij-Rasikh is the co-founder and president of the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA). SOLA is the first and only private boarding school for girls in Afghanistan, and in 2020 enrolled more than 80 students in grades 6-10.
Born in Kabul, Shabana’s childhood was spent under the Taliban regime at a time when girls’ education was outlawed. She studied in secret until the fall of the Taliban in 2001; her experiences motivate her certainty that investing in girls’ education is a nation’s path to a prosperous future.
Shabana is a magna cum laude graduate of Middlebury College in the USA and holds a Master in Public Policy from Oxford University. She is a global ambassador for Girl Rising, a worldwide campaign for girls’ education, and in 2018 she was awarded one of Afghanistan’s highest civilian honors for her work with SOLA. In 2019, Forbes named her to their 30 Under 30 Asia list as a social entrepreneur.
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