Humaira Ghilzai is a Social Entrepreneur dedicated to bringing people together across cultures. In the past fifteen years, Humaira has focused on projects that improve the world, ranging from helping women in Afghanistan and educating leaders about Afghan culture to working with playwrights, directors, television producers, writers and theatres on the accurate portrayal of Afghans and Muslim culture. Humaira has extensive knowledge of Afghanistan; it’s people and political climate. She has a degree in International Marketing, has traveled to 37 countries and six continents. She has created and runs successful projects in Afghanistan facilitated by her language skills, local knowledge, and extensive contacts. In addition, she has headed projects in East Asia and Latin America. (Bio from Linkedin)
People often ask me why Afghan women have ALWAYS been oppressed. It was this recurring question that inspired me to make this video, 100 Year History of Afghan Women, to show the progress, gains, and setbacks in the past 100 years and how they have shaped the current climate for Afghan women.
Through the non-profit organization, I co-founded, Afghan Friends Network, I devoted 17 years to educating women, girls, and boys in Afghanistan. I’m afraid with the current crisis in Afghanistan, after the hasty US withdrawal, those hard-earned rights that Afghan women fought for will be taken away by the Taliban occupation of the country.
The video is my love letter to the Afghan women. Here is what I cover…
We start with the reign of King Amanullah and Queen Soraya who attempted to modernize Afghanistan and gave unprecedented rights to women. Then we go on to cover the ‘Era of Peace’ 1933-1973 when Zahir Shah was the last king of Afghanistan and progress was slow and steady. During the Russian occupation, many rights were given to Afghan women but it was ineffectual in the rural areas where Afghans were being slaughtered by Russian airstrikes and women were losing their homes. The video ends with the current peace talks with the Taliban and how power-sharing could affect the lives of Afghan women.
It has been depressing and demoralizing to see Afghanistan back at the hands of the Taliban. I especially worry as the world gets tired of Afghanistan and they look away, that Afghan women will once again become collateral damage in the geopolitical game that is being played out as I write this. I encourage you all to take action and find ways you can welcome Afghan refugees to your community. On my ActionForAfghans page, I have simple and easy things you can to do to help mitigate the hardship Afghans are feeling right now.
I hope you find this video educational and share it with your friends, family, and on social media. I appreciate your help in educating others about the plight of Afghan women.
Written September 16th, 2021.