"Afghanistan is one of the world's toughest places to be a woman. Conflict and cultural repression have denied them education, careers, safety and equal rights. Mercy Corps recently opened a vocational training center to women in Helmand province, and in less than a year, more than 900 women have enrolled to learn English, computers, sewing, embroidery and calligraphy. Fatima (left), age fifteen, and her sister Zahra (right), age sixteen, (not their real names) are thrilled, as young women, to have the opportunity for education in Afghanistan. Fatima is taking computer classes in Mercy Corps INVEST program for women. Their younger sister (additional photo) is also eager to learn. Mercy Corps' vocational training programs for men have been running a bit longer, and teach a wide range of classes such as mobile phone repair, carpentry, metalwork and plumbing. The hands in this photo are young men participating in motorcycle repair class."