Meet Our Founder - ZOHRA WAHEDI AKHTERI

A Human Rights Defender, Community Organizer, and Social Worker

Zohra Wahedi

ZOHRA WAHEDI AKHTERI

Introduction

Learn about Zohra Wahedi, the passionate and dedicated founder of Vulnerable Afghan Women Network (VAWN). Her journey began as a young girl facing challenges with the Taliban regime and has led her to become a fierce advocate for Afghan women’s rights and empowerment.

Early Life and Challenges

Zohra Wahedi’s story began when she was only three years old. Her family had to flee from violence in Afghanistan due to the Taliban regime, temporarily seeking refuge in Pakistan. After years in exile, Zohra and her family returned to their homeland, where she embarked on a mission to improve the lives of Afghan women.

Education and Community Involvement

At the age of fifteen, Zohra began teaching girls in her neighborhood subjects like Dari, math, and the Koran. Recognizing the need for vocational training, she established a center to provide young women with essential skills for their futures.

Professional Life

In 2018, Zohra joined the Ministry of Justice in the Department of Cohesion, where she organized cultural and social activities for young Afghans. Throughout her career, she has fearlessly challenged politicians who neglected their people’s needs and participated in protest movements against them.

The Birth of VAWN

Following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August 2021, Zohra and her family returned to Pakistan. Inspired to make a difference, she founded the Vulnerable Afghan Women Network to support and empower vulnerable Afghan women living in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Leadership and Achievements

Zohra has held various leadership and membership positions in organizations like International Consensus of Afghan Women without Borders and Youth Convergence Organization. She has also contributed to the efforts of Chemonics and USAID’s mission in Afghanistan.

Education

Zohra holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Tamim Ansar College Kabul. She pursued a Master’s degree in Journalism from a famous University¬† but had to leave her studies incomplete due to the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.

Message from Zohra

“I urge women human rights defenders worldwide to remain vigilant about the situation of Afghan women. My hope is that our collective efforts can pave the way for a brighter future where our children have a stable home and access to education.”