Generally, women who have been the first girls in their families to go to school have faced much resistance. The reasons for such resistance, as I heard from these women, were two fold. Firstly, and most simply, it is a new event and the consequences are unknown. Secondly, the position of women and what they should and should not do is not a personal or private issue; rather it relates to traditional norms and hence to the whole community. Those who are pioneer in sending their daughters to school have to assure that their decision does not alienate their daughters... from the community.
As with Nasrin and Pawrin, a girl's education, work, and activities which involve a public setting did not concern only the immediate family, but her distant relatives and even the entire community. With relation to honor and shame, the extent of women's involvement in the public sphere, the nature of their work, and the limits of their public appearance all reflect the image of men's honor and the amount of control they have over their private and personal affairs. In villages, people have a strong sense of community, living like one big family, and honor is connected to what women do; the choice of women to conform to or to deviate from the cultural norms can be seen to bring honor or shame on the community. A girl's education, then, especially after puberty, becomes a cultural issue in which everybody has a say, except the girl herself. Sometimes, even the immediate family who was not opposed to their daughter's education could not oppose the opinion of relatives and the community.
Most of the women in my study had both physical and economic access to schools.
For some, fathers were their only support and protection against a resentful community. But fathers could only offer such protection if they were, themselves, influential in the community economically, socially, religiously, or educationally.