Women’s Annex, an interactive platform that promotes and supports women’s empowerment, started as a project of Film Annex, but has grown to become its own entity. Founded by Roya Mahboob, a 2013 Time 100 honoree, the website hosts 6,000 license-free professional films across a variety of topics. In the next month, Women's Annex will have its own separate community and registration pages, and this will allow women and children in Central Asia to write articles for the site and host videos on their WebTV. Both actions help them earn money, increasing their agency by allowing them to be financial self-starters.
Women in developing countries have traditionally had very few opportunities to earn money outside the home, and very little access to the Internet. Women’s Annex Foundation is poised to change that by giving women a jumpstart on digital media. To that end, Women’s Annex sponsors the Afghan Development Project. This initiative helps build classrooms throughout Afghanistan. Currently, 12 classrooms have been built, with a goal of 40 total.
These Internet classrooms are powered with Examer software, which allows students in Afghanistan and Central Asia an easy interactive and social educational platform. It combines learning with a micro-scholarship program that rewards high performing students with small scholarships to apply toward their education.
In addition to their premium content and education outreach efforts, Women’s Annex is the official online distributor of the Esteqlal Football Team’s games, interviews and videos. Although typically, football clubs are operated by men, the Esteqlal Football Team has women managing its social media, advertising and online presence.
Mahboob, who has previously founded and is currently CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, says:
“The goal of this project is to empower the women of Afghanistan and Central Asia by educating them in all facets of society, whether it be economics, health, business, or education. With the power of the internet, Women’s Annex will reach women on a global scale.”
Other partners include Fereshteh Forough, Elaha Mahboob and Francesco Rulli, the founder of Film Annex.
Women’s Annex Foundation is currently seeking corporate partners to accomplish its goals of building classrooms in Afghanistan. With this funding, Women’s Annex will be able to bring social media, filmmaking and other technology education information to students in Afghanistan and throughout Central Asia. Women’s Annex Foundation is also seeking 501(c)3 status, which will help facilitate building these classrooms, as well as Women’s Annex Training Centers.