C for Comics, Constitution and Civil Rights

Tobi Cohen, in his article titled “Comic books a teaching tool in Kandahar“, reports on how comics are being used to raise awareness and educate the people of Afghanistan.

Despite rampant police corruption and a prevailing sense that it will be years before law and order is effectively restored in Afghanistan, a simple comic book is being distributed among the children of Kandahar City in an effort to increase public awareness about the Afghan constitution, civil rights and legal reform.”The idea was to use this comic book program to reach out and touch people, not just children, but adults as well, in a non-threatening way,” Inglis said. “It starts to teach them about the fundamental document which governs their country.”The stories follow the lives of young Yassin, his sister Razia and his adoptive Uncle Raouf and explore the issues of child labour, property rights, police corruption, girls’ education and security of the person among others.Jamila Qureshi, a female teacher at a Kandahar school that instructs about 1,000 girls in the mornings and another 1,800 boys in the evenings, is hopeful the comic about education rights for girls will sink in.Inglis said many of the teachers initially trained had no idea what a constitution was or how they were affected by it. She hopes the campaign will help inform as many as 300,000 people regardless of their literacy levels.

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