There is so much desperation, sadness, fear and misunderstanding flowing from Afghanistan. You can see emergent news and analysis of the situation here, but this blog was created to celebrate influential and wonderful figures of history and so that is what I will do here. Everyone should know the name Manizha Wafeq, and here’s why.
Manizha is one of those people you read about and wonder to yourself two things: the first is: when does she sleep? The second: how do I find that kind of energy? Quick snap shot of Manizha:
- She is the Co-founder and President of Afghanistan Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI)
- She is the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s In-Country Facilitator for Afghanistan teaching PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS in Kabul.
- She co-authored a Gender and the Legal Framework for Afghanistan.
- She has won an array of awards, including the Enterprising Women Magazine Award for her Leadership, Leadership Award from the National Business Association of the US, and Young Activist Award from the Afghan Women’s Network and the Afghan Lower House of the Parliament and 40/40 of Kardan University and Hall of Fame Advocacy award again from Enterprising Magazine.
- Other accolades and achievements can be seen here.
She’s a mother. She advocates for women’s education and rights. She has established awards and teaches women and girls and works with the government. Or else she did. What will happen for Manizha as the Taliban regains total control over Afghanistan is unknown right now. But reading about her instilled such hope in me. Thinking about the 500+ women she has supported and trained, the hours she has spent creating a framework to promote equality amongst men and women, the relentless energy that has seen such goodness flow from her out into the world… none of that was done in vain.
Women are resilient. Women are tenacious. Women are clever and women find ways to persist. I hope that having a moment to reflect on this wonderful human and the positive influence she has made on the world gives you a moment to sit and remember that. Her work will not disappear. Now, more than ever, we live in a world where our output is captured and distributed across the world in mere moments. Typing her name in this blog is my attempt at distributing the lasting impression she will leave on this planet further. Community builds momentum. Momentum leads to change. Change leaves marks that cannot be scrubbed away, even by the most violent and terrible.
There is little that can be said to instil hope in this situation, especially with so many things unfolding. But I encourage everyone to look for the gems amongst the stones. Take care and be kind to yourself and to others, and remember all of the brilliant women like Manizha Wafeq.