But now, the benefits for women in some areas over the last 20 years have been fleeting and unevenly distributed despite the millions invested in girls ’s rights programs.

In Taliban-controlled locations, women’s education is extremely restricted, if not nonexistent. In some areas in the country ’s east and west, the Taliban have opened schools to women who can attend until they reach puberty, and in the north, tribal elders have negotiated to reopen some schools for girls, though subjects like social science are substituted with Islamic studies. Education centers are routinely the targets of attacks, and over 1,000 colleges have closed recently.

It had been my dream to work in a government office, said Ms. Ahmadi, 27, who graduated from Kunduz University two years ago before moving into a Taliban-controlled village along with her husband. “But I’ll take my fantasy to the grave. ”

If there is 1 thing that decades of war have educated Afghans, it is that battle was never a good way to achieve human or girls ’s rights. Since the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, war has fueled more war, eventually endangering any diplomatic achievements.

Under the U.S. occupation, education opportunities, cultural shifts, employment and health care have benefited a few and barely influenced others, particularly in rural areas. In those places, some of those war’s most brutal chapters performed with many civilians dead and livelihoods devastated.

Often, girls ’s remarks are uncertain in those parts, where roughly three-quarters of Afghanistan’s 34 million people live, and are often unreachable due to geographical, cultural and technological limitations.