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Afghanistan After 2014

Balkh University-BC Pen Pal Partnership

Balkh University-BC Pen Pal Partnership


To bolster our focus on improving the plight of women in Afghanistan, the State Department has initiated a partnership between BC undergraduate females and their counterparts at Balkh University in Mazir-e-Sharif — capital of the Balkh province. The American consulate in Mazir-e-Sharif has worked with university officials to coordinate the project under the direction of the office of U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues, Catherine Russell, BC ’86. Balkh University’s student body is 40 percent female — an anomaly in Afghanistan where it is uncommon for women to be educated past the sixth grade. The university and the consulate have worked together to identify 20-25 girls proficient enough in English to participate in the pen pal exchange. The partnership is a small way to maintain a U.S.-Afghani connection independent of the precarious, and highly contested, military and fiscal ties.