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Afghan Women Demand to be Heard
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/1/19 | Maryam Sama (26) - Member of Parliament
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/3/19 | Zarifa Adiba (21) - Student, former conductor of Zohra Orchestra "The biggest loss for me will be my identity, I will loose that as a woman and nobody will recognize me as human being anymore"
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/4/19 | Zohra Hussaini (27) - Program officer at AHRDO (Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization) "In 2014, when I first stepped forward to encourage women to ride bicycles, I had hopes. Then, my only wish was to see girls riding their bicycles freely to school, to market and to work. With the the return of Taliban, I sometimes wonder if women can even freely walk on streets? Let alone riding the bicycles and driving cars."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/4/19 | Azima Akbar (54), Retired Teacher "We are tired of war and we want peace but if Taliban comes back in power, women will be the first ones to suffer. I worry about the freedom of my children and their education. "
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/4/19 | Rada Akbar (31), Visual Artists "I will loose my identity as a human being, a woman and an artist"
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/4/19 | Mahtab Sahel (27), Poet "Look at the situation and living circumstances of Afghan women who are already living in areas and districts that are controlled by Taliban. This oppression imposed on them by Taliban happens under an independent government in the presence of the international communities. If Taliban comes to Kabul and have a share of power, how our future as women will be any different from them? "
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/5/19 | Muqadessa Yourish (27), Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry "I find peace and loss mutually opposed to each other. So escaping the ghosts of the past, I try not to entertain the idea of “loss” for women in the peace process. In fact, given the broad spectrum of women’s interests, I aspire for Afghan women to push for and gain from the peace process an idea of citizen freedom that allows every rural/urban woman to pursue individual conceptions of a good life, regardless of their geographic locations and social interests."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/5/19 | Masooma Hosseini (26), Communication officer at Book City Cultural Center "The biggest loss for us would be the freedom we have gained in the past 18 years. For me specifically, I live alone, separate from my family and I'm confident that if Taliban comes back I will loose my independence which I have gained with hard work, as incomplete as it may be."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/6/19 | Hawa Alam Nooristani, Chief of the Elections Commission "In the past 40 years, women were always on the brink of loss. The mothers who lost sons, husbands and brothers, policewomen who have been martyred, judges who were bound to stay home. I worry that women will loose again if the cost of peace would be bringing Taliban back into power"
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/8/19 | Fatemeh Ayreek (28), Puppet Maker and Actress "If Taliban comes back, the first thing I will loose is my audience, who are the children of this country. I won't be able to do the work I do today, theatre for children. I didn't have a happy childhood myself, didn't even know what theatre was until I was 14. That play remains one of the happiest memory I have from my childhood, to this day."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/5/19 | Sakina (37), Cleaner and single mother "I won't be able to work if Taliban come back into power. How am I going to provide for my 4 children and send them to school"
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/4/19 | Sima Samar (54), Former head of Independent Human Rights Commission "My biggest fear is the loss of rights and values we have accomplished in the past 18 years, which is not ideal but better than what it was under Taliban ruling and their interpretation of Sharia law."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/6/19 | Shinkai Karokhail, former Afghan ambassador to Canada "With the return of Taliban, I will face political turbulence, lots of ups and downs but I won't back to my previous place."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/6/19 | Zhala Sarmast (19), Cyclist, Noble Peace Prize nominee, Student "I define negotiation as a mutual partnership. Even if Taliban become a small part of the government, the government won't sacrifice what we have or accept going back to where we were in 90s."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/6/19 | Zarlasht Sarmast (23), Student "We have given many sacrifices to get where we are now we are not going to give all that up just like that. I am hopeful. Not afraid."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/8/19 | Mary Akrami (32), Project Assistant at IOM "We won't be losing anything, we had lost everything we had to loose. If Taliban is returning, they are the ones who need to accept that this Afghanistan is not what it was in the 90s. They need to accept that Afghanistan today, has women and youth who are working hard to make this country a better place and they are in charge. I have no fear and I won't loose anything.
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/7/19 | Salma Alkozay (30), director of aid management at ministry of finance "I'm not against peace nor negotiations, and there will compromises that need to be made. However I won't allow my rights ,as a woman and young Afghan, to be compromised in this process. We, the youth, have already sacrificed so much and worked so hard to have our country the way we have it now."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/7/19 | Masooma Hosseini (32), Project Assistant at IOM "Hope for a better future would be the biggest loss, We still haven't experienced stability but at least we are hoping and working towards it. Hope for a more stable country is all we have."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/7/19 | Fakhria Ibrahimi Mumtaz (30), Yoga instructor "Even after the invasion, I never truly felt that Taliban left. Some of them remained and lived among us in this society. Look at Farkhunda's death, stoning of women and hundreds of other examples out of provinces and districts. I think if peace negotiations bring Taliban back, in any shape or form, it will only give platform to those with the same mentality to continue oppressing Afghan women."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/7/19 | ArezooHosseini (36), Beauty Aesthetician "I was born and raised in Iran, only returned to my home country 7 years ago. If Taliban comes back, it will directly impact my work as a beauty aesthetician. Not only they're against women working outside of home but they're also against makeup."
KABUL | AFGHANISTAN | 8/6/19 | Homa Alizoy (48), Judge "The idea of peace is very idealistic. The experience has shown Taliban is very dogmatic when it comes to their ideologies and how they practice it. Women and children are the most vulnerable and it will impact their education, work and their status. I, as a female judge, will be sent home once again and won't be able to practice but I will continue my fight under burqa if I have to. It is impossible to know how the future will look like."
Iranian-Canadian photographer, focusing on migration, identity and sexuality in societies dealing with oppression or conflict.
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