An Afghan photographer, Rada Akbar, displayed 50 photos from Afghan girls at an exhibition in Kabul on Thursday to mark the International Day of Girl Child.
Akbar said she has taken the photos in the last seven years during her journey to Kabul and a number of other provinces.
The photos, Akbar said, show the challenges Afghan girls are facing including early marriage, lack of access to education, child labor and many other problems.
She said sufficient work has not been done for wellbeing of Afghan women and girls.
Akbar said photography is something that she can describe her feelings through and also by shooting good pictures she wants to tell that Afghan women can have high quality accomplishments if they are given the appropriate chances.
“I don’t photograph subject, I photograph the way they make me feel. Admittedly, it’s strange concept. But it’s honest – and it’s the best way to describe my approach to the craft. I wrestle with every image I shoot. I assume perfection is possible and I want to wring it out of every picture. As a female artist, I want to convince our society that Afghan women can produce high quality works and be recognized internationally for their craft,” said Akbar.
US ambassador to Kabul, John R. Bass, meanwhile said they will work with the Afghan government to make sure Afghan girls will have the opportunity of access to education, getting rid of violence and early marriage.
“While we have seen Afghanistan making enormous progress over the last 17 years, there is still a great deal of work to do to ensure the girls have access to education, that they are not forced into early marriages, that they are not subjected to sexual assault, or mistreatment or child labor. This exhibition is part of our ongoing efforts to both promote awareness of the challenges, but also work shoulder to shoulder with our Afghan partners to create better opportunities for the girls in the society,” said Bass.
In part of the exhibition, girls from Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) performed folk music.
Ahmad Nasir Sarmast, head of the ANIM, said the Afghan girls who have been studying music at the institute in the past 17 years have had good achievements for the country.
“If we compare Afghanistan 2018 with Afghanistan 2001, we can see that girls in Afghanistan 2018 are in a better status than Afghanistan 2001 and before that. We cannot ignore the reality and this positive change, but still the girls are facing lots of challenges. In today’s exhibition, you can see the challenges that girls, especially underage girls, are facing with,” said Sarmast.
The United Nations has named October 11 as the International Day of Girl Child to recognize problems and challenges in the way of girl children and take action to tackle those challenges.