TIME 100 Influential Pioneer, Roya Mahboob on Afghanistan Education and Empowering Women

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This week was a great week for me and with wonderful news about my partner Roya Mahboob in Afghanistan. She was selected by TIME Magazine as one of  the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Afghanistan is a traditional country with an old history. Women have always played a very important role in society through decades, like Malalai Meyvandi during the Afghan-England war. However, they spent their darkest time during the Taliban regime. Since they started the new government a decade ago, women now take part in social activities, although there are many people arguing against women’s presence in society.

I cannot speak generally about all women in Afghanistan because, unfortunately, the positive changes are just happening in some big cities, and the remote areas and villages are still suffering from a lack of standard social facilities, and there is still violence against women there. I can talk about the education of women, especially in the recent years. A considerable amount of girls, especially in big cities, are involved in the educational system, such as schools and universities. But being a city girl does not mean having access to safe education.

Education always plays a critical role in developing countries, particularly in Afghanistan, and that is why right now, Roya Mahboob, with her New York based partner Film Annex, are building Internet classrooms in Afghanistan to open a new way of education and learning procedures in schools in Afghanistan, by using social media to connect 40 schools in Herat and 160,000 Afghan children to as many or more schools in Europe and the USA.

Last night was the TIME 100 Gala at the Time Warner center in New York. Roya Mahboob and Francesco Rulli were presenting the Afghan Development and Women's Annex projects that are operating in Afghanistan with the mission to promote and support women's empowerment with videos, instructional programs, and blog stories about education, arts, business, sports, and a variety of other topics.

I can say that nothing is impossible and the word impossible says “I am possible”. Afghan women are courageous, talented and patient. It is time for them to get what they have fought for many years ago. I wish that one day, every single Afghan girl and woman will have a real smile on their face when they see their dreams come true.

Fereshteh Forough

About the author


Afghan Perspective is a weekly column presenting Afghan Women and Men's views on CBS' 60 Minutes shows. The Afghan writers watch each episodes and then try to relate the topic to what is happening in their country. The main goal is to connect people presented in the shows with Afghans…

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