“I can’t stay quiet and watch”

In their own words: Afghan women activists share their challenges living through conflict and their hopes for the future.

The crisis in Afghanistan threatens roll back development progress. Women and girls could lose access to education, jobs and other opportunities. Photo: UN Photo/Shehzad Noorani
Freshta Karimi (left) is a prominent lawyer and defender of women’s and children’s rights in Afghanistan. Asila Wardak (right) is a women’s rights and human rights activist and a former diplomat. Photos: Provided by Freshta Karimi and Asila Wardak
For many Afghans who could not afford or access flights out of the country, they make their way overland across borders. Some spend long stints in refugee camps waiting to be resettled. Photo: Shutterstock
Inspired by her father, Asila is committed to her activism on women’s and human rights. Photo: Provided by Asila Wardak
In the last two decades, women have gained education and earned high-level positions in respected careers. While the future is uncertain, Asila says women are now more inclined to stand up for their rights. Photo: Shutterstock
“I can’t stop myself from raising my voice for women and people of Afghanistan, and I will carry on helping women and girls,” says Freshta. Photo: Provided by Freshta Karimi
In the past 20 years, Afghan women have taken on new roles and built alliances within the country and in the international community. Photo: UNDP
Around the world major cities have seen mass protests in support of Afghan women and peace prevailing in the country. Fresha and Asila call for continued action. Photo: Shutterstock

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