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Helal

My name is Helal. I am a 26-year-old Afghan woman from the Uzbek tribe who recently arrived in the United States. Before the horrific Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, I served as an advisor on human rights, women’s affairs and civil society with the High Council for National Reconciliation Office of Afghanistan (HCNR), through which I campaigned for women’s involvement in the peace process and ensured that women’s voices would be heard. Before leaving to the United Kingdom to pursue my master’s degree, I worked as a Technical Advisor on prevention of corruption and system development with the Office of the Chief Executive of Afghanistan (OCE).

From a young age, I have been a loud voice for justice and equality and used different platforms to advocate for women’s inclusion in social and political processes. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Turkey and my master’s degree in the UK, I returned to Afghanistan because I felt a duty to represent the strong voices of Afghan women. In Afghanistan, I stood up against misogynistic views and actions in Afghan society, took part in various TV and radio programs, wrote articles in national papers, consistently raised my voice on social media platforms and engaged in street protests to advance equal rights and justice for Afghan women and human rights. I have played an active role in the transformation that Afghan society, specifically young Afghan women, has achieved in the past decade.

As the Taliban gain more power throughout the country, more and more voices are being silenced and activists are being killed daily. Although I am far from home, I will continue to be the voice of my people and to advocate for the rights of Afghan women, children and minorities who are being tortured and killed simply for existing.

Attia

My name is Attia. I am a writer, an activist, a thought-leader and the breadwinner of my family of nine.

Negin

My name is Negin and I am the first female conductor of the first all-female orchestra in Afghanistan.