For 25-year-old Afghan woman Jahantab Ahmadi (pictured — Credit: @womenintheworld), the two-hour trudge along a mountainous road, nine-hour bumpy ride on a rickety bus to the provincial capital Nili and taking a four-hour university entrance exam with her baby in the lap was a painful exercise last month. But Jahantab’s suffering was not in vain. She scored 152 marks out of 200 in the exam. A professor, Nasir Khusraw, took the picture of Jahantab sitting cross-legged on the exam floor cradling her 2-month-old baby and posted it on Facebook. That powerful image of woman’s endurance and determination touched a chord in a country where women’s rights are neglected. Offers of help came pouring in for the mother of three from viewers. Jahantab is now enrolled at a private university in Kabul thanks to Zahra Yagana, a women’s rights activist, who persuaded her to come to Afghan’s capital. Yagana met President Ashraf Ghani’s senior adviser Farkhunda Zahra Naderi and Vice President Sarwar Danish. Naderi agreed to pay Jahantab’s tuition fee while Danish will pay her rent on the Kabul home where she will be staying with her family. Yagana is also making efforts to get a job for Jahantab’s husband, Musa Mohammadi, who never went to school but encouraged his wife all along. Jahantab hails from a remote farming village in Daikundi province which has only one elementary school in a sun-scorched field. After completing her education, Jahantab wants to serve women, society and uplift the Hazara ethnic community she represents in central Afghanistan.
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