A year ago, WILPF Afghanistan member Nazifa Jalali was dreaming of peace. Fighting between Taliban and government forces threatened her daily in the rural, traditional province where she lived. “The security issues, suicide bombing, and magnetic bombs were my routines, and I got used to it. The days were rare when there was no fear in my heart. Regardless, I was committed to fighting for women’s rights.”
Nazifa was running a madrassa – a school for over 500 girls and women. As an Islamic scholar she was also a respected member of her community, countering violence and teaching and advocating about women’s rights.
This short film is a snapshot of Nazifa’s life, just a few months before she had to flee her country during the Taliban takeover. It is also a poignant reminder of what has been lost.
On International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to Nazifa and her colleagues, in her community and in exile, who are having to dream now about reinstating basic rights such as education for girls and women in Afghanistan. They are working with determination to re-open Nazifa’s school, and to change the narrative about Afghanistan. They have not lost hope.