“Afghanistan may be the only country in the world where during the last century kings and politicians have been made and undone by struggles relating to women’s status,” scholar Huma Ahmed-Gosh aptly states. Frequently, the historical positions of Afghan women are only understood in terms of during the Taliban and after the Taliban. These terms erase the very complicated history of women’s rights in Afghanistan. This fight has been ongoing since at least the late 1800s. Some of the earliest attempts at emancipation and social reform in the Muslim world took place in Afghanistan. This complicated history was what drove me to want to work for the largest national women’s rights organization in Afghanistan.
Last week, I met AWN’s Executive Director, A. Within one hour of beginning a conversation with her about my role at AWN, she proposed that I stay with AWN for 2 years or so. What an unanticipated suggestion! A argued that if one really cares about women’s rights in Afghanistan than one will stay for the long term. At this time it is not realistic for me to consider staying in Afghanistan for the long-term. I was frank and honest with A.
The Advocacy Project’s Fellowship program was conceived for short-term placement of Fellows with AP’s partners all over the world, I explained. While explaining what I could do for AWN in the short-term, I found myself agreeing with her.
And yet, how do you measure conviction? The amount of time you devote to something?
Upon reflection, I truly believe that it’s not how long you spend working on something, but how you choose to spend your time.
I will revisit this blog posting at the end of my Fellowship.
Posted By Audrey Roberts
Posted Jun 17th, 2007