Herat International Women's Film Festival Towards Empowering Women in Afghanistan with Filmmaking

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International Women's Day originally came from International Working Women's Day, which is on March 8, when many women started their struggle to access the same economic, educational, social and political facilities as men.

The UN theme for International Women's Day 2013 is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women", while the Gender Agenda is "Gaining Momentum".

This day does not belong to any nation. It is an international celebration for all the women who stood beside each other and sacrificed to provide a better future for the rest. Women in Afghanistan spent their darkest time during the Taliban regime, when they were not allowed to go to school and access the educational system and couldn't even leave their home without a male company.

It has been almost a decade since the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and women have started their hard work to get their social rights. Many women were killed, threatened badly and kept silent because of their human right activities especially for women.

But nobody could stop them from pursuing their missions and despite all the sacrifices, they have continued their struggles and support.

Right now, there are dozens of organizations in Afghanistan working for women's right providing seminars, workshops and experimental courses to encourage and increase their awareness whether they want to be a housewife and take care of children or work outside.

Every day, we hear about social and digital media and how they can influence our lives. In today's life and considering how fast is the communication and building of your own network, using the Internet is a powerful medium to spread ideas and a must used tool especially for women.

Performing arts and in particular filmmaking is another powerful social and digital media weapon for women to raise their voices and reflect the problems and challenges in their daily lives. That is why Herat International Women's Film Festival is taking the chance to call women filmmakers around the world and represent their messages by means of film.

One of the initiatives for this film festival is Roya Sadat, a female filmmaker and the Director of the Roya Film House. She is also the main director of this festival.

The female filmmakers are from several countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, China, Thailand, Japan, India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Australia, Venezuela, France, Canada and Tajikistan.

Women's Annex is an interactive platform that promotes and supports women's empowerment with videos, instructional programs, and blog stories about education, arts, business, sports, and a variety of other topics. It would be a great collaboration between Women's Annex and the film festival in Herat which can easily promote their films and experiences via the platform. I am looking forward to interviewing those talented female filmmakers and leting the world know that Afghanistan women are talented, thought leaders and creative, even when put under pressure and with limited facilities.

روز جهانی زن به عنوان نمادی از فداکاری ها، مبارزات و تلاش های بی وقفه زنانی است که به خاطر داشتن حقوقی مساوی در جامعه، تحصیلات، سیاست و حقوق اجتماعی خود به مبارزه آغاز کردند. زنان تاریکترین دوران خود را در افغانستان در زمان حکومترانی طالبان سپری کردند. آنها از هیچگونه حقوق اجتماعی و مدنی برخودار نبودند. گرچه پس از سپری نمودن یک دهه از فروپاشی طالبان زنان هنوز هم مورد شکنجه و آزار روحی و جسمی قرار میگیرند و به عنوان جنس دوم به آنها نگاه میشود. امروزه رسانه های اجتماعی نقش به سزایی را در ایجاد ارتباطات و گسترش فعالیت های اجتماعی افراد بازی میکند. همانطور که برای اولین بار نخستین جشنواره بین المللی فیلم  زنان در هرات امسال در روز زن آغاز به کار میکند. رویا سادات یک فیلم ساز زن و رئیس خانه فیلم رویا یکی از گردانندگان این جشنواره میباشد. در واقع هنر فیلمسازی یکی از بهترین رسانه های به منظور رساندی پیام به سایر افراد در سرتاسر دنیا میباشد و این همان موردی است که فیلم انکس با به راه اندازی پلت فرم زنان انکس خواهان رسیدن به آن است

About the author


After graduating in Literature from high school in Iran, where she was a refugee, Fereshteh returned to Afghanistan in 2002. She started teaching English to girls at the Afghan Youth Association and later attended the Computer Science Faculty in Herat where she got her Bachelors degree. After…

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