Challenges that young people of Afghanistan face today and in the

Challenges that young people of
Afghanistan face today and in the future
- Current context, opportunities & challenges for the youth
- What needs to be addressed for the future?
25-30 million people, of which approx a third in urban areas
Half are below age of 15, two thirds below age of 25
Half of all girls get married before 16 (legal age limit)
Average fertility rate 6,5 births per woman
Life expectancy 43 years
Alima and Pedram
Alima, Keshim
• 14 years, 10th grade
• 9 family members + extended
• Mother tailor (home), Father
shop-keeper, semi-literate
• Plays volley-ball
• Frequent internet user
• Wants to be a doctor
• Lacks quality and access in
higher education
• Fears insecurity, social
barriers, prejudice, attitudes
• Hopes for stronger leadership
of the country, well-functioning
• Dreams of studying in Turkey
• Literacy rate 16% female, 33 %
• Approx 7,5 million in school (35%
• # schools doubled last decade
• Approx 5 million no access to Edu
• Lack of teachers, over-crowded,
weak infrastructure, low quality,
corporal punishment
• Social barriers
• Increasing threats and attacks
• Few real opportunities for higher
education for rural population
Pedram, Kabul
• 22 years, last year at university
• 4 family members
• Mother teacher, father civil
• Returnee, from Iran
• Wants to be an engineer
• Lacks space for urban youth to
mobilise, influence society, arts
• Fears declining economy,
conservatism, ethnic polarisation
• Hopes for security and a country
free of corruption
• Dreams of studying in the US,
having a successful business
• Rapid urbanisation
• Huge unemployment among
• Economy service-driven,
strongly linked to military and
aid spending. Declining posttransition?
• Ministries low aid absorption
capacity, inefficiencies
• Migration
• Desperate rural youth, leaving
country, joining militias…
• Social and cultural activities.
How encourage civic
engagement? Problem of
ethnic division?
“One chance in 30 years…”
• Hope
– Peace process and security
– Good governance, responsiveness, fighting corruption
– Long-term commitment from international community
• Access and opportunities
– Education
– Economy and jobs
• Voice, space and connectedness
– Civil Society
– Social and political participation, public arenas
– Communication, media, regionalisation, globalisation