Shabana Basij-Rasikh says girls’ education is a lever to move the world to a healthier, cleaner, safer place, but it’s when we need everyone’s hands to operate – not just women, but men too. Our societies and our world will be transformed for the better when men encourage girls to say five words: “I will never stop studying.” Shabana is the co-founder and president of the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), Afghanistan’s first and only boarding school for girls. SOLA’s mission is to provide an educational experience unlike any other in the nation, bringing together girls from all across Afghanistan and providing them a safe, secure environment in which to learn, so that they may grow to become their country’s next generation of leaders.
Shabana is a graduate of Middlebury College in the USA; holds an honorary doctorate from SOAS University of London; and is a global ambassador for Girl Rising, a call to action seeking investment in girls’ education worldwide. In 2018, she was awarded the Malalai Medal, one of Afghanistan’s highest civilian national honors, for her work in advancing girls’ access to education. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx