When a woman is educated, a chain reaction of positive impact begins. She is empowered. Her children are more likely to live past childbirth. Her community edges toward gender equality.
When a woman is educated at the university level, the ripple effects are even wider. She is empowered to pursue a high-level job, which contributes to the income production of her family. The extra income helps dislodge her family from the cycle of poverty, which allows them to pursue more meaningful work and education in the community. This facilitates the community’s ability to contribute to the local economy, which impacts national development. And national development, fueled by a woman’s pursuit of higher education, means better living standards for people at all levels of society.
In honor of International Women’s Day, we are kicking off a global crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds for 10 outstanding women to continue their studies at Asian University for Women. They fought hard to get to this place, and urgently need your help to keep going. For the price of a pencil, you can begin the chain reaction of positive impact.
Asian University for Women (AUW), is an international, liberal arts and sciences university located in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Its sole purpose is to educate and empower the future leaders of Asia.
Read the stories of our Crowdfunding Campaign Scholars:
Aastha Yadav | India | Class of 2021
Compared to her peers, Aastha is lucky. Her parents were very supportive of her decision to go to AUW because they knew her acceptance was a great achievement. Most of her peers in her home town of Jharkhand do not have the same support to follow their dreams. Aastha is passionate about changing the mindset of her people in India. “Girls are only expected to work in the home and not go outside. I want to change the mindset of people in Jharkhand because every woman has the right to an education.”
Aditi Nepal | Nepal | Class of 2020
When Aditi graduated from high school, she had a more difficult time pursuing higher education than she ever imagined. Aditi did not qualify for government support for higher education, and her family could not afford the high-quality universities in Nepal. While she waited for another option to arise, Aditi kept busy by teaching science and mathematics at a primary school and as a home tutor—she was determined to keep learning. When she learned about AUW, everything changed. “Life has become better and more meaningful after coming to AUW,” Aditi says.
Ayesha Abrar Nawshin | Bangladesh | Class of 2021
Ayesha grew up in a community that highly valued education. Both of her parents are teachers, so she grew up living with them in the school dormitories provided to teachers and their families. Now at AUW, Ayesha is inspired by AUW’s focus on women’s leadership. “Women in Bangladesh are confined, secluded in so many ways,” she says. “Most of the women in Bangladesh are dominated because they depend on their husbands or brothers or sons. If a woman is given the chance to prove herself, she can do anything that a man can and more.”
Kajali Akter | Bangladesh | Class of 2021
Kajali’s journey has not been easy. Both of her parents died in recent years, leaving her and her younger brother behind. Kajali’s uncle now provides for their family. When she finished high school, Kajali worked in a garment factory in Bangladesh to put herself through homeopathic college. She worked long hours in the grueling conditions of the factory by day, and completed her studies at night. After learning about AUW from her employer, Kajali was accepted to AUW on full scholarship. Today, she thrives as a student—and nothing more.
Nazifa Qazizada | Afghanistan | Class of 2021
Nazifa is from a family of 12, raised in a small village in Afghanistan. Although she was prohibited from pursuing tertiary education by her family, Nazifa was determined to continue her studies. After graduating from high school, she travelled alone from her village to the Ministry of Education in Kabul to inquire about universities that offered scholarship programs. One year later, Nazifa is flourishing at AUW. Funds raised by the IWD campaign will allow Nazifa to continue the education she fought so hard to receive.
Rejina Thapa | Nepal | Class of 2020
Rejina is from a small town in Eastern Nepal, where she grew up with her parents and younger sister. After fourth grade, Rejina’s family encountered financial problems. Her father was forced to move her to a less expensive school in Kathmandu, which was not much more than a hut made entirely out of bamboo. The quality of education was low, but it was all that her family could afford. When Rejina expressed her desire to pursue higher education at AUW, her parents were supportive. They understand the power of education to ensure a bright future for them all.
Rokeya Khatun | Bangladesh | Class of 2021
Growing up in Narail, Bangladesh, Rokeya never dreamed that she could one day achieve higher education. For most women in her community, the opportunity simply does not exist. “No girls in Narail attend university,” Rokeya says. “They just get married.” Rokeya’s father is chronically ill, leaving him unable to work. Her mother must sty home to take care of him and Rokeya’s younger brother. Their younger sister is married already. For nearly four years, Rokeya supported her family financially through her job at a garments factory in Bangladesh. Now at AUW, Rokeya is working hard to earn her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Sima Usufi | Afghanistan | Class of 2021
Sima grew up in Kabul with her grandparents, parents, and five siblings. Her eldest brother provides the sole source of income for the whole family. Before AUW, Sima studied at Kabul Education University of Rabbani for one year. During her studies, she faced judgement from people in her community who felt that she should not continue her education and belonged at home. “People believe that between 16 and 18 is the age that a girl should get married,” Sima says. “But it shouldn’t be like that. Women should be able to go to university, build the future of their countries, and have equal opportunities and resources. Women are equal to men.”
Thinley Dema | Bhutan | Class of 2021
Thinley was raised in a small town in Eastern Bhutan along with her two younger siblings. Her father has struggled with illness for most of his life and is unable to work, so her mother supports the family with the meager wages she earns in a position at the Ministry of Education in Bhutan. After high school, Thinley almost gave up on her dream of continuing her education because her parents were unable to afford private university in Bhutan. However, her mother inspired her to apply to AUW, where she earned a full scholarship for her studies. “AUW was a miracle in my life. Me being a poor daughter, this is a blessing.”
Zahra Zafari | Afghanistan | Class of 2021
Growing up in the mountainous Bayman province of Afghanistan, Zahra faced many difficulties pursing her education. In her community, women are expected to marry after high school and take care of their families. Those who travel outside of Afghanistan, especially in pursuit of education, are seen as abandoning their culture. Now at AUW, Zahra has big dreams for her community. “My ambitions are to become a powerful woman and show these people who think that women can’t do anything that this is not reality.” ,