Community Foundation of New Jersey

Afghan Girls: Meet Fatima

May 8, 2014

Eighteen year old Fatima’s goal is to empower women and promote equality in Afghanistan. With the help of the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund, Fatima is one step closer to that goal – having graduated George School and heading to Lafayette College in the fall. She plans to use this opportunity of a higher education to help women stand up for their rights by providing emotional and psychological help. Fatima explains the importance of equal opportunities for women in her own words:

“I challenge my society’s inequitable attitude towards women. Since I was fourteen, I have worked as a volunteer member of Hadia, a non-profit organization for Afghans who are committed to raising awareness and decreasing poverty. We work with girls in orphanages and women in shelters. We help these women become economically independent by creating small businesses for them to sell their handmade products, such as knit purses. With economic independence these women are less dependent on men, less likely to be in abusive relationships, and more likely to become educated and in turn educate their daughters.

I want to continue to fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan, which are my rights. With higher education, I will be stronger and will have the ability to help more and more women stand up for their rights. Women in Afghanistan have lost their confidence after decades of suppression and oppression. I want to help Afghan women find their lost confidence by providing them with emotional and psychological help. I hope that one day all Afghan women find the hushed strength inside.”