About Orzala Ashraf Nemat

PhD candidate at School of Oriental and African Studies, guest scholar at Chr. Michelsen Institute.

100 years of struggle. Am I worried? Not really.

Every time I feel frustrated with the situation and complain, my mother who is part of the 60s and early 70s generation of activists keeps assuring me that there is a hope for things to get better. She says this because of what she has experienced in her life and I trust her as I add my own decades of life experience to the picture.

The struggle for women’s rights in Afghanistan neither started with the arrival of international military troops in Afghanistan, nor will it stop at the point of their departure. Often Afghan women’s rights struggle is portrayed as if it all begun since the post-2001 era, meaning that once the troops leave the country- we will go back to our natural state again: The Taliban policy of women out of view, denied education, work and public life. But even a quick look at the last 100 years of history shows that the Taliban never had monopoly on gender politics in Afghanistan.

Visiting a school in Utrani, Afghanistan. (Photo: Orzala Ashraf Nemat)

Visiting a school in Utrani, Afghanistan. (Photo: Orzala Ashraf Nemat)

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