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Promoting education and leadership opportunities among Afghan women as catalysts for change

Women's Voices Now

11/25/2013

Afghan Women's Writing Project The Sky is a Nest of Swallows

This week, W4 is proud to feature a wonderful article by our friends at Women’s Voices Now (WVN) that raises awareness about the crucial work of the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA) and the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP) to, respectively, promote educational and leadership opportunities for Afghan women and amplify their voices as catalysts for change.

 

Founded in 2009, the AWWP acts to “support voices of women with the belief that to tell one’s story is a human right. Though it sounds simple, I cannot say how important this is in a country where women have been told their stories do not matter, and are urged to be silent“, explains AWWP Founder Masha Hamilton. Through various training opportunities, including reading salons and writing workshops, Afghan women gain the strength and confidence to take control of their lives and are able to narrate their experiences. 

 

The School of Leadership Afghanistan aims to help Afghan women develop their intellectual and leadership potential. SOLA offers courses in Kabul for young women of high school age and provides scholarships for graduates to study abroad at leading schools around the world. A third component of SOLA’s work focuses on Afghan students who have pursued graduate level studies abroad. SOLA assists the women with job placement on their return to Afghanistan, helping them to enter leadership positions within the country’s public and private sectors.

 

Shabana Basij-Rasikh, School of Leadership (SOLA) Afghanistan

“Who else will be the change agents, the catalysts, but the women?” – Leslie J. Sacks, WVN founder

 

Women’s Voices Now (WVN), founded by Leslie Sacks in 2010, is an online clearinghouse for women’s rights activists and supporters. What I love most is that, as an online forum, WVN connects the world in a visual and immediate way. Women whose voices were not heard are now speaking to a global audience, a truly amazing accomplishment. While watching Sacks speak on the organization’s website about the “guts and courage” of women in the Muslim World fighting for their rights, I am reminded of the Afghan women I have met in person and online over the past year and a half…

 

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Meet the editor in chief

Andrea Ashworth

is an author, journalist and academic. She has studied, taught or held fellowships at Oxford, Yale and Princeton. Andrea has written fiction and non-fiction for numerous publications, including Vogue, Granta, The Times, The TLS and The Guardian. She is the author of the award-winning and internationally bestselling memoir Once in a House on Fire Andrea works to raise awareness about domestic violence and to promote literacy and education.

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