Afghan Writers Profile Afghanistan’s Business Women
Kabul- While recent headlines focus on the injustices suffered by women in Afghanistan, the Afghan Women’s Writing Project launched a new interview series that focuses on victories gained in women’s rights. “Women in Business,” is a collection of powerful stories about successful Afghan business women who, with little or no education, learned a skill they could transform into a small business. The interviewers themselves are AWWP writers who are trained to collect oral stories from Afghan women to share with the world.
Zahra J. was born in Iran, the youngest of ten children, after the family had been forced to leave their country under Taliban rule. The family wanted to move back to Afghanistan but in the years until they were free to return, Zahra often spent afternoons watching a television show where she learned how to paint designs on fabric. Now in her twenties, Zahra lives in Kabul with her husband and sons where she runs a business selling custom orders to local stores, and teaching other women how to create their own fabric designs. “As a child, I wanted to serve my country…Here my work was unknown to people but I was able to train and help guide women to a better future,” says Zahra.
Twenty-two year old Rahima never knew the freedom of walking and running with her friends. Instead of letting a lame foot stop her, though, Rahima, attended school through eighth grade and went to sewing classes put on by international agencies. As her foot worsened with time, Rahima’s determination never faded, and now she takes orders every day to sew clothes for other people. “Each day I make $10US. I can support my family and pay for my own needs. I do not need to ask money from anyone.” Rahima is optimistic for Afghanistan’s future. She thinks the coming elections are important and she plans to vote.
These and other interviews conducted by AWWP’s writers are featured this week at awwproject.org. The AWWP was founded in 2009 in defense of the human right to voice one’s story. For more information, please visit awwproject.org or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. (The Afghanistan express daily)