Free Women Writers works to improve the lives of Afghan women through advocacy, storytelling, and education.
Centuries ago, Rabia Balkhi was killed by her brother, a king, for falling in love with a slave, daring to write poetry, and dreaming of a different world. She is symbolic for the women of Afghanistan because she broke many misogynistic traditions by raising her voice and she shook the inhumane class system of her time by loving a slave. It is because she raised her voice then, that we can today. She exemplifies our fight for gender equality, social justice, and education. We titled our book Daughters of Rabia to honor this brave woman who was also the first known Persian poetess.
A collection of Afghan women’s writings in defense of our human rights, the book was published in 2013. Following its success and distribution in six provinces in Afghanistan, we created the Free Women Writers blog to continue publishing women’s writings in local languages. Since then, the blog has expanded to include hundreds of articles, poems, narratives, and essays about gender equality, environmental concerns, economic inequality, democracy, and other social justice-related issues. Read Daughters of Rabia here.
Our second book is a short guide for women facing gender-based violence. You Are not Alone derives from years of research, speaking with survivors of violence and our experiences as women and survivors. Through this book, we share stories inspired by the lives of women we’ve met through FWW in the past four years and the lessons learned from their battles for freedom and safety. We will also debunk the many myths that continue to surround conversations on gender-based violence and harm women around the world, and provide specific and practical tips on ways you can deal with the violence you or someone you love may be facing. Most importantly, we write to reassure you that if you are a survivor of violence, it is not your fault. You have the right to live happily and to feel loved, cherished, and respected. Access this book (Persian) for free here.
In 2016, We launched the Daughters of Rabia Scholarship to support a new Afghan woman’s higher education every year. We accept applications for new students every year in August. Free Women Writers, including our scholarship, is self-funded by our founder and members. We are proud to say that our work is funded and owned by ourselves, Afghan women. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Inspired by Rabia Balkhi, we aim to promote gender equality, social justice, and human rights using our voices. In Afghanistan, where daily terrorist attacks, poverty, and war have led to the sustenance of a culture of violence and inequality, we use our pens to fight terrorism and patriarchy. We are also aware of the fact that global media often misrepresents Afghanistan, in particular Afghan women. Afghanistan’s women are often talked about, but rarely listened to. We hope to challenge the one-dimensional portrayal of Afghanistan and Afghans at a global level by elevating authentic Afghan voices.
Do you want to learn more about our work? Read through our informational presentation.
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