Lawyer and activist, Zabul

After graduating from university, Hawa had a varied and illustrious career working and/or interning for various national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and humanitarian organizations, as a trainer, facilitator and defence lawyer. She also volunteered as a legal advisor, human rights defender and women’s rights activist. She continues her work and advocacy, despite the restrictions, to motivate women not to give up fighting for their rights.

“Before the Taliban takeover, I did activities in national and international organizations, and as a lawyer, human rights defender, women’s rights defender and media activist, and now, I am working from home, and I am in contact with women and girls.

I promised myself to fight for the rights of the women and girls and I do so. There are widespread prohibitions against women in different sectors; the economic situation is more miserable than I have ever witnessed; there is a lack of intellectual security; and women and girls are suffering too much due to the closure of girls’ schools.

The most important issue for me is removing obstacles to the work and education of girls and women, and valuing gender equality.

After the Taliban took over, I continued my work, but in a different way, with a different approach and from a different place. Months after of the fall, I turned one of the rooms of my house into an office, where I started to work with media, NGOs, national and international institutions as much as possible, secretly, and still I am working in such a manner.

The only thing that gives me the energy to stay the course is thinking about standing up against the current situation and not giving up and fighting for our rights.

I hope that girls in my country will be able to go back to school. But if this situation continues, despite our brave struggles, I see the future of the girls and women of this country as extremely dark, because all the infrastructure and values related to women are being destroyed day-by-day.

People need to maintain energy and support to encourage women and girls, and raise their voices in any way possible.

My message to the world community is clear: Thank you for your countless support for many years. The eyes and ears of the Afghan people are on you. Please continue your support.”

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