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Afghanistan’s Young Woman of Change: Noorjahan Akbar

noorjahan akbar

Written by Sonja Be Few people will stand against the will of the government and the cultural norms of a society. Few women have the courage to speak up against injustice and advocate for real change. Noorjahan Akbar and Anita Haidary are two of those rare and brave young women who have, despite adversity, challenged the societal customs of Afghanistan. In a country where women lack the safety, support and basic rights to succeed, Noorjahan Akbar not only felt a heavy responsibility towards Afghan women, she also saw an opportunity: the opportunity to address the issues of inequality, violence, sexual discrimination and lack of access to education in Afghanistan. With an uncooperative government, poor human rights conditions, and unenforced laws on the elimination of violence against women, one can only imagine the vast challenges that lay ahead of these women.  Despite the major obstacles, Read More »

Change Is Possible: Burma


By Nadia Buhna Burma, the once feudal society, colonized by the British Empire in the late 19th century, became independent in 1948. Soon after gaining independence, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (another name used for the country) was plunged into a decades-long civil war as a result of a military coup in 1962. The year 2008 brought the Burmese constitutional reform leading to a general election in 2010 in which the military-backed administration of President Thein Sein took power replacing the military junta. Claims that the elections were neither free nor fair were made by national and international bodies. The April 2012 result of the by elections in Burma, however, is a promising sign of a successful pro democracy movement in the country as National League for Democracy, led by Nobel  peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Read More »

Interview: Young Women For Change

Young Women For Change

The Young Women for Change is an independent grassroots organization in Afghanistan encouraging youth to fight for gender inequality and empower women to stand up against violation and abuse. The organization was founded by 20 year old Noorjahan Akbar and Anita Haidary, in April 2011. In less than one year, they have over 50 volunteers in three different provinces of Afghanistan. Haidary and Akbar believe that young women and men of Afghanistan have the potential to bring change in the mentalities of people about women and all they need is a little push. With that belief, they started the YWC. I got a chance to interview the incredibly inspiring Noorjahan Akbar: Read More »

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