Skip to main content

Long way to go....

Wazhma Frogh: The 2009 International Woman of Courage Award recepient by the State Department!!!


On Wednesday 11 March 2009, I recieved the 2009 International Woman of Courage Award from United States First Lady, Michelle Obama and the Secretrary of State, Hillary Clinton. I was part of 8 women delegation that came from different parts of the world including Afghanistan, Iraq, Guatemala, Niger, Yemen, Malaysia,Russia and Tajikistan. These 8 women were selected amongst almost 800 nominees from all countries around the world. It was quiet an honor for a young Afghan woman to stand there and once again prove to the world that Afghan women are not passive and victims of their oppressed society but can make their own destiny.

I was told that i was selected based on a thorough assessment of the USAID and US embassy in Afghanistan and based on my work on promoting and advocacting for women's human rights related to domestic violence, and child sexual abuse and child rapes in the country.

While speaking to the First Lady and Secretary Clinton, i said that this award isnt for my work but for the women of Afghanistan who are still fighting inequlity with very few or no options. Sometimes these struggles end our lives but we continue. For the past 12 years of my work, i have always beleived that i wont do the work for the women and children but i can raise their voices national and to the world, and create opportunities so that every woman can stand for herself and speak for herself. That is the reason that in the recent years i have shifted into an international level advocacy at the UN and other platforms to bring in women's perspectives into Afghanistan's security and governance. I recently participated in the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN Headquarters in New York and advocated against the lack of attention given to women' voices when it comes to security and 'negotiations' with the militants. Its the women that pay higher price for militantancy so they have to be included in the discussions on fighting or negotiating with militants. This is was also the concluding message i had for the First Lady, Mrs.Obama as well.

I think there are alot of women in Afghanistan that deserve to be recognized, and awarded but i accepted this award on behalf of Afghan women, who share a more common identity than anyone else in this country. During the whole two weeks meetings and discussions, i had the opportunity to speak with different Bureaus that were collecting inputs on the US Afghanistan Strategy and i am glad that i was able to contribute to it, promoting the message that military solutions are not the only way to fight terror in the region or in Afghanistan, we need to fight with the hunger and poverty.

Comments

  1. I like your blog.I'm waiting for your new posts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very AMAZING. Congratulations Wazhma! This is amazing news.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Feature : Different faces of prostitution in Afghanistan

Prostitution is not an easily accepted reality in our society. Most of the time, we are in denial that in Muslim societies women do not sell their bodies for money, even if they do, no one will buy. It is actually the opposite, even if a woman does not want, the societal miseries make her do anything for survival and livelihood of the family. While Prostitution in many other parts of the world could be understand as a woman's sexual desire and of her immoral character; the truth behind it is hardly explored.
In my work on women's issues in Afghanistan, I came across many women who have at least once sold their bodies to earn a living either forced by a family member or in secret. However, I chose to write about these three women I met three years ago in an old city of Kabul. These three different women have at least one thing in common, that even in a closed traditional and religious society, they were made to be prostitutes, either in public or in secret.
A couple of years ag…

Our voices are not stoned to death!!!

On Friday, 06 July 2012, Ms Fawzia Koofi, one of the prominent female MPs called and with a disturbingly quiet tone asked whether I knew about the Parwan incident. I said Yes, saw a tweet from one of the BBC journalists but dont know if its true or not. She said its true and she saw the video. After we both mourned the incident, she said if women dont stand all these violence, we will all face this fate, one by one. We hanged on the phone and I started digging deeper to find out what happened. 
Though, we still dont know the exact account of the heinous act of violence and oppression that we all witnessed in that video- we are all so shocked & furious over the fact that najiba  was brutally murdered. No matter who did it, that does not make any difference. The information that we have been able to obtain to date is that Najiba, 21 year old who was either kidnapped or forced to come to the house of one of the armed commanders (apparently a taleb as the Parwan governor emphasizes) …

Lal Bibi's journey for justice

Who is Lal Bibi? to those who havent read her story in NYT and other places, I will summarize that Lal Bibi, 21, was abducted, raped & tortured for five consecutive days by the armed men who are incharge of the Afghan Local Police ( an auxilillary militia called Arbakis) in Kunduz during May 2012. She was punished for the animosity that her cousin had with the armed men of ALP. In Afghanistan, a family's 'honor' is tied with a woman of the family and she is punished to account for someone els's deeds...that is a long story.
There is nothing new about this story either. We have rape cases taking place in this part of the world almost every day but what was so strange about Lal Bibi's case was that her whole tribe stood up for her. For whatever reason ( many say its political) but seeing 50 bearded turbaned men who are the village council's head, provincial council's members, tribal leaders, the mosque mullahs and the community members coming to Kabul acc…