Shukria Barakzai has endured a miscarriage from Taliban attacks, a secretly polygamous husband, street beatings by extremists, an aggressive opposition campaign from that same husband and multiple assassination attempts. Just one of these would stop most normal people in their tracks.
Australian skateboarder Oliver Percovich created the non-profit Skateistan in 2007, a grassroots project that connects youth and education through skateboarding in Afghanistan. The organization, which has since grown to an award-winning international NGO, caught the attention of London-based photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson and inspired her to visit the program in Kabul in 2012—especially after learning 45% of the students were female.
Powerful religious leaders in Afghanistan are growing uneasy about the challenge to their authority posed by rare civil rights protests in Kabul and widespread anger over the lynching of a young woman wrongly accused of burning a Koran.
The issue of women’s subordinate legal, social and political position in Afghan society and the failure of the government to meet its obligations to ensure gender equality and address discriminatory social attitudes forms the basis of this report. Cultural, religious and social norms are at the root of the various kinds of abuse experienced by women human rights defenders.