AWWP Helps Afghan Women Find Freedom in Writing
Afghanistan is a country known for its repression of and violence against women. Repressed by the law, the Taliban and society, Afghan women often lack the means to express themselves and tell their stories in a way that can be heard and valued. In 2009, American journalist Masha Hamilton sought to help solve this problem by founding the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP). Hamilton told the Women’s News Network, “It’s important for a certain kind of survival to tell your own story, to tell it out loud. When you tell your story, you see it in different ways, and then you make changes that are right for you.”
The AWWP site currently features about one hundred writers from all backgrounds who range in age from fourteen to forty-five. Having an outlet to spread their stories is so important to many of these women that they often risk their own personal safety just to send in a post. Some walk hours to reach internet cafes often hiding their laptops under their burqas as they travel to avoid persecution from society or worse, the Taliban.
As AWWP continues to grow, it has helped many women to promote their work, opening the door and giving them the confidence to pursue even greater opportunities.