Meet the activist telling the stories of Afghan women that usually never get heard
January 22, 2018, The Tempest
The Tempest interviewed Free Women Writers founder Noorjahan Akbar about our latest book You Are Not Alone and why it is important to create trans-national feminist alliances. Read the interview here.
40 Women to Watch: The 2018 Edition
January 13, 2018, The Tempest
The Tempest 40 of the boldest leaders transforming the world through music, art, journalism, business, philanthropy, politics and more. Among them was Free Women Writers’ own Noorjahan Akbar. Read the list here.
Afghan filmmaker Roya Sadat makes Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers 2017 List
December 5, 2017, Foreign Policy
Trailblazing Afghan filmmaker Roya Sadat was named among Foreign Policy Magazine’s Global Thinkers of the year for bringing the story of Afghan women to the screen. Free Women Writers was quoted on Foreign Policy about why she is an icon for many other Afghan women. “To young Afghan women, Roya is an example of what you can be.”
Afghan leader Ashraf Ghani apologises for headscarf remark
December 3, 2017, BBC
Recently President Ashraf Ghani came under fire for saying politicians who’ve claimed members of his administration support ISIS should either proof their claims or “wear headscarves”. Free Women Writers was among the many organizations and individuals calling on the president to apologize for a comment that equates being female or doing something attributed to women with inferiority and shame. Our advocacy paid off and President Ghani swiftly apologized. BBC and SBS featured Free Women Writers in articles about this incident.
Free Women Writers Wins Excellence at Women’s Empowerment Award
November 30, 2017
Free Women Writers just won the Global Thinkers Forum‘s 2017 Award for Excellence in Women’s Empowerment! We are incredibly honored and energized to be recognized for telling the authentic stories of Afghan women. Our contributor Awesta Telyar Azada had the opportunity to attend the award ceremony on our behalf. Read her powerful speech here.
Free Women Writers Is Included in 12.01 Project
November 20, 2017
The 12.01 Project is a documentary production company for social change. It produces high-quality investigative documentaries and provides the tools necessary for viewers to take action. It is a film company, an information platform, and a community. In November 2017, we were added to the incredible list of organizations featured by this innovative project. Visit our 12.01 page here.
Voice of America- Afghanistan Features Free Women Writers’ Work
November 16, 2017
We were featured in morning news segment on Voice of America. The program discussed our work, our book, and our plans to expand and reach more Afghan women. Listen to the Persian interview here.
George Washington University’s Fall Reading List Features Our Book
November 6, 2017
Free Women Writers’ most recent book You Are Not Alone, a guide for women facing violence in Afghanistan, was featured on George Washington University’s Fall Reading List. Read the full list here.
How I Got the Job: Aisha Azimi Aims to Make Global Impact
November 6, 2017
Free Women Writers member and George Washington student Aisha Azimi was interviewed by GW Today about our work and how other young people can get involved in bringing change. Read the article here.
Outrage at video of Afghan colonel sexually exploiting woman
November 2, 2017, The Guardian
Free Women Writers Founder Noorjahan Akbar was quoted in The Guardian in an article about sexual harassment in Afghanistan. “For Afghan women, it (speaking about harassment) is a double-edged sword.” “If you speak out, people say, ‘see I told you we shouldn’t let women work’. And if you don’t, people say, ‘Of course it will continue if you don’t speak out to support other women’.” Read more in the article here.
Afghan Women Write New Narratives About Themselves, With Courage
October 24, 2017, PassBlue
Free Women Writers member, Maryam Laly was interviewed by PassBlue about the importance of Afghan women telling their own stories. Read the article here.
Yes All Afghan Women
October 19, 2017, Proximity Magazine
Proximity Magazine interviewed Free Women Writers Founder Noorjahan Akbar about our work, our books and future plans. Read the interview here.
Romper esquemas, la lección de los jóvenes en el One Young World
October 7, 2017
Free Women Writers was represented at One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia. EL Tiempo wrote about our book You Are Not Alone, for women facing violence, here.
October 7, 2017
Free Women Writers founder Noorjahan Akbar had the chance to speak about women and peace-building and our work at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia. At the summit, we advocated for the meaningful participation of Afghan women in peace-building process in Afghanistan. Read Noorjahan’s speech here.
Afghan women say, call me by my name
August 2, 2017, Public Radio International
Tired of being denied our sense of identity, Afghan women are organizing to break the taboo that surrounds our names. Our founding director spoke with PRI about the #WhereIsMyName campaign. Read the article here.
We were also quoted in a USA Today article about the campaign.
#WhereIsMyName: Restoring the Identities of Afghan Women
July 18, 2017, Ms. Magazine
A grassroots effort is questioning taboos around women’s identities and names in public spaces in Afghanistan. Our founder spoke with Ms. about why this matters. Read the article here.
Now in school, Afghan girl is one step closer to achieving her dream of fighting Taliban
March 23, 2017, National
Many Afghan girls are finding the chance to get an education in an unexpected place: refugee and internally-displaced camps. We chimed it on what this means for girls and how we can ensure that their access to education is sustained. Read the article here.
Afghanistan’s displaced: The challenges of returning home
January 25, 2017, Al Jazeera
Free Women Writers founder Noorjahan Akbar joined Al Jazeera’s The Stream to discuss the lives of Afghan women refugees and internally displaced populations. Watch the discussion here.
Afghanistan’s Female Writers Collective Using Words As A Weapon Against Injustice & Inequality
December 02, 2016, Girl Talk
We were recently featured on Girl Talk HQ! The piece discussed our history and mission and the importance of women’s voices in bringing change to Afghanistan. Read the article here.
Blogs Not Bombs: Afghan Writers Fighting Misogyny With Their Stories
October 3, 2016, Women You Should Know
We were recently interviewed by Lydia Solodiuk and featured on Women You should Know. Read the piece here.
Changing the discourse around Afghan women through writing
September 7, 2016
Earlier this month we had the chance to speak with Popular Discourse and ACT Writers Centre about Free Women Writer’s work.
In our conversation with Popular Discourse, we talked about the importance of portraying the complex and multi-faceted lives of Afghan women as they are instead of diminishing our story only to those of victims of violence. Read here about why this matters and what Free Women Writers is doing to change this narrative here.
With ACT Writers Centre our founder spoke about the power of women’s voices. “Our voices, our stories, our experiences are not only legitimate but essential for changing in Afghanistan,” she said. Read the blog here.
One of our blogs was also featured on Who Makes the News. Read all about it here.
More than a year has passed since the despicable lynching of Farkhanda Malikzada for her baseless allegation of burning the Holy Quran. Unspeakable cruelty was watched on by spectators, with little intervention to stop the violence. Those who were responsible for her heinous murder received little justice even though the case was met by an international outcry.
Women Living Under Muslim Law interviewed our founder on what the legacy of Farkhunda and the struggle for justice in Afghanistan will be. Read the interview here.
We recently spoke about the responsibility men have to commit and fight for gender equality with Afghanistan Times and Kabulscape.
“Not all men are rapist, violent or harassers- but nearly all men are silent when they see these atrocities and almost all rapists and harassers are men. This is a harsh reality, but to change it Afghan men have a responsibility to fight for equality and respect for women. A more equal society will serve not only women but all of us as it will allow us to live as full human beings and beyond restrictive gender roles. It will be better for our country as we will all be able to contribute to rebuilding it and it will be better for our children as they will be able to see respectful role models upon which to base their lives. Equality for women is not a threat to men. It is only a threat to sexism and good men must join the effort to making equality a reality.”
Read the full interview here.
Free Women Writers founder, Noorjahan Akbar, spoke with Al Jazeera about the tremendous obstacles Afghan women face and the power women have to transform Afghanistan earlier this week.
“Like the current state of the country, the current state of Afghan women is tumultuous and unstable. While – since the US-led intervention – Afghan women have made a considerable amount of progress, with [today’s] increased insecurity, economic inequality, and radicalism, we are afraid that our accomplishments will be threatened, and the few civil rights and individual freedoms we have will be taken away from us,” she said.
Read the full interview here.
What are people around the world doing during International Anti-Street Harassment Week? Learn all about events happening in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Chile, France, Nepal and Yemen in this wonderful article on Ms. Magazine by Stop Street Harassment founder, Holly Kearl. Included in the article is a blurb about our work in Afghanistan!
Street Harassment Around The World: What’s Your Story?
April 6, 2016
Our founder Noorjahan Akbar joined a number of activists from around the world to speak about Afghan women’s experiences with street harassment for National Public Radio.
Read the full story and learn about women’s experiences in other parts of the world here.
A Year Later Still No Justice for Farkhunda
April 1, 2016
On March 19, 2015, Farkhunda Malikzada was murdered by a mob of angry Afghan men because a local religious cleric had falsely accused her of burning the Quran. A year later, perpetrators have faced little to no repercussions. Read our founder’s article on Foreign Policy about why this matters for Farkhunda’s legacy and other Afghan women.
Read the full article here.