Noorjahan Akbar

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Middle Eastern countries, such as Afghanistan, have always seen the poor treatment of women and children throughout history. Their rights are almost non-existent, while the men have all the right to do to them whatever they please. It is, however, fortunate that there are a few who rise up and go against the wrong, even if it means putting their life in danger. One of them is Noorjahan Akbar, a 19–year–old student at the Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

Achievements

Why Noorjahan Akbar is Extraordinary

Middle Eastern countries, such as Afghanistan, have always seen the poor treatment of women and children throughout history. Their rights are almost non-existent, while the men have all the right to do to them whatever they please. It is, however, fortunate that there are a few who rise up and go against the wrong, even if it means putting their life in danger. One of them is Noorjahan Akbar, a 19–year–old student at the Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

Inspiring Afghanistans through Young Women for Change

Noorjahan Akbar’s amazing courage in fighting for women’s rights in Afghanistan has inspired many, both men and women, to recognize the importance of gender equality and to act against violence and unfair treatment of women in Afghanistan. Young Women for Change, a women’s rights organization that Noorjahan cofounded, is actively participating in helping the women of Afghanistan stand up and claim their rights apart from inspiring many to support their efforts.

Noorjahan’s active participation in supporting gender equality and women’s rights stems from her amazing compassion and dedication towards the welfare of her fellow Afghan women. Having received education during her younger years, a privilege that most women in Afghanistan did not have, Noorjahan was exposed to the truth that women should be treated equally with men and should not be seen as inferior. She has since developed a heart for helping other women through inspiring and encouraging them into standing up for their rights.

Noorjahan’s experience in being a part-time writer and journalist developed her confidence and courage to help her fellow Afghan women by teaching them to stand for their rights through giving them education. Her decision in building a language center for women was indeed a challenge, since women were given very little importance and value in their society and the language center would present a threat to those who radically believed in the superiority of men over women. Yet, despite all these challenges, Noorjahan still found it important and worth the risk, often stating during interviews how she believes that women should be treated equally with men.

Promoting Child Literacy and Folkloric Music through Afghan Children’s Songbook

One of Noorjahan’s most famous collaborations is with the Afghan Children’s Songbook, a collection of folklore music and games intended for Afghan children. Funded by the American Embassy in Afghanistan, the project enabled Noorjahan to work with the children and their families, where her love and passion for the care of women and children was further developed. She believes that once the project is completed, it will help build up awareness in child welfare through promoting child literacy and folkloric music.

Noorjahan Marches in the Advocacy for Dignity

Noorjahan’s work with the Young Women for Change has greatly improved the way women have been treated in Afghanistan over the past years. In July 2011, Noorjahan participated in the Advocacy for Dignity, a protest march against street harassment for the women in Kabul. This was done after an extensive study where Noorjahan learned that 18 out of 20 women in Afghanistan have experienced street harassment. The protest march was a success, which was joined by over 50 youth and was supported by the local police, even helping them distribute flyers to raise public awareness for the fair treatment of women.

Throughout Noorjahan’s career, she has written hundreds of articles, blogs, and programs, which have inspired many to help the children and women of Afghanistan. Her perseverance and optimistic view that change will occur regarding the treatment of Afghan women and children has enabled her to continue working for their rights despite all the challenges that she and her fellow women are facing. Her dream of living a life that is dedicated to promoting gender equality and education in Afghanistan is truly an inspiring story. It teaches us that even at a young age one can make a difference that can benefit an entire nation.

Top Reasons why Noorjahan Akbar is Extraordinary

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