“Våra vapen är pennor & böcker”: en kvalitativ studie om afghanska högstadieflickors uppfattningar av utveckling & frihet samt de bådas upplevda påverkan om flickorna istället vore pojkar.
Development and freedom are two key concepts in global development studies. This thesis aims to research Afghan high school girls’ perceptions and experiences of development and freedom. How these concepts are concretized through possibilities and limitations in their everyday life will answer the research problem. Further, it also investigates whether the girls feel that they have equal access to development and freedom in practice as boys, or if this would be different if they were boys. The analysis, which is a systematizing qualitative text analysis of the distributed survey, is based on the theoretical frameworks of development as economic growth by Jefferey Sachs (2006), development as freedom by Amartya Sen (2002) and development as context-specific by Cheryl McEwan (2009). Earlier research about how fundamental differences between women and men creates inequality (Sen, 1990) and why girls, against all odds, stay in school (Warrington & Kiragu, 2011) and finally the phenomena Bacha Posh – girls disguised as boys in Afghanistan (Nordberg, 2010) are also implemented to facilitate the analysis. The material for this study, distributed by the Swedish and Norwegian Afghanistan Committee, was collected from a survey conducted with 57 girls in Afghanistan. A semi-structured interview with each Committee was conducted to get a context-based background about the girls and the school. The main results of the study show that the girls see development and freedom from an individual perspective and not as something for or done by the state, which thus strengthens Sen’s theory. The girls also highlights the inequality between boys and girls, since a majority thinks it would be beneficial to be born or/and to be a boy to facilitate for development and freedom. The main conclusions of the study show that the girls perceive inequality in relations to boys, but also highlight their hopefulness towards themselves and the future where education is an important factor for their optimism.