From hidden struggles towards political participation: Afghan women’s perspectives on peace and security beyond transition

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Women in Afghanistan have achieved significant progress in terms of working in public life since the international intervention in 2001. Despite of insecurity, patriarchal attitudes and discriminatory mindsets they have effective presence in parliament, media, government and civil society to contribute in democratization and stability of the country.

Portraying the story of their public life seems important because of certain interrelated reasons: to motivate other women to enter into public life, to promote women’s social acceptance and to strengthen their role in the traditional society of Afghanistan. In order to address these issues, Rahe Madaneyat Weekly Magazine and Heinrich Boell Stiftung (hbs) decided to highlight the individual and social role of Afghan women and to enhance awareness on the fact that there are successful women in Afghanistan who contribute towards democratization of the country and towards peace and stability through this series of interviews of “Successful Women”.

This publication combines all 31 interviews portraits published in Rahe Madaneyat Magazine during 2012 and 2013 as well as 4 interview portraits were published before the start of the project.

The portraits include stories of women artists, film makers, and business women, women in the police, young leaders, and women members of the parliament and cabinet ministers, women rights activists and poets. They are friendly dialogues reflecting the visions and practices of Afghan women from a very personal level to socio-political affairs and they discuss their administration and working environment. The women interviewed describe how they interact with their husbands and govern their family. They describe how women fight against discrimination and injustice and how they support democracy and its values throughout their work. The interviewees present how women could play an effective role to safeguard the achievements made over the last 12 years also in the future.

Printed copies of the book can be ordererd via our office in Kabul which published the book first.

Product details
Date of Publication
July 2014
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Afghanistan
Number of Pages
All rights reserved
Table of contents
  • Foreword by Dr. Sima Samar 5
  • Foreword by Prof. Sayeda Mojgan Mostafavi 8
  • Introduction 11
  • Fatima Gilani: “Humans need peace in their life” 13
  • Fawzai Koofi: “Politics must be modernized” 19
  • Shukria Barakzia: “Politics is a crucial part of my life” 24
  • Najiba Ayubi: “In a community, you must behave socially” 29
  • Shah Gul Rezai: “How democratic is Shah Gul Rezai?” 34
  • Masooma Ibrahimi: “Theatre is the most audience-dependent art” 38
  • Roqya Nayel: “I am confident in my political activities” 45
  • Zubaida Abkar: “Family is a hope-giving entity” 50
  • Shinkai Karokhel: “The Freedom of women does not mean promotion of" 55
  • Najla Habibyar: “What is Najla’s definition of a happy life?” 59
  • Raihana Azad: “Democracy is a principle for me” 64
  • Nahid Farid: “I believe in green” 70
  • Munira Yousafzada: “The emotion has been lost in the struggle to earn a crust” 74
  • Anarkali Hunaryar: “We cannot progress unless there is peace” 81
  • Nilofar Ibrahimi: “The participation by women in the peace process remains 85
  • Sahraa Karimi: “I do not accept Afghan TV channels” 90
  • Noor Jahan Akbar: “I believe in human equality” 96
  • Zahra Mausavi: “My concerns are the concerns of a modern woman” 105
  • Freshta Hazrati: “We need to fight for equality and respect for all” 111
  • Basigul Sharifi: “Peace is only a word but has a great meaning” 115
  • Sahra Mausavi: “Let’s talk instead of fighting” 120
  • Husn Banu Ghazanfar: “I am committed to meeting my responsibilities” 127
  • Rababa Darvesh: “woman is the continuation of human creation and life” 131
  • Fauzia Habib: “Demanding rights doesn’t mean promoting irregularities” 134
  • Fatana Gilan: “Symbolic efforts for peace is meaningless” 138
  • Wazira Hassanzada: “We need the Active Presence of Policewomen” 144
  • Habiba Sarabi: “I have faith in the young generation of my country ”147
  • Suraya: “Art is closely related to peace” 154
  • Sonia Iqbal Zeerak: “Instability will not return” 158
  • Khatira Ishaqzada: “I want to be the voice of the young generation” 163
  • Masooma Muhammadi: “Equality is a need and a goal” 169