Muqadasa Ahmadzai (Afghanistan)

Muqadasa Ahmadzai (25 years) was born in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Her family still believe that young women should remain at home, and Maqadasa therefore faced significant barriers to her education. She kept her English and journalism studies a secret from her parents. Through her determination and activism, she proved to her family and community that she was just as capable as boys.

Muqadasa is now a member of Afghanistan’s Youth Parliament where she is a strong advocate for peace and the rights of women and girls. She has also been involved in grassroots community activism, conducting a campaign to paint colourful peace messages on walls in Jalalabad to encourage combatants to renounce violence.

Muqadasa has also organized a network of over 400 young women activists throughout Nangarhar province. They travel to nearby districts to help women and girls survivors of domestic violence, or those at risk of being handed over as chattels in compensation for crimes their families are said to have committed.Muqadasa is considering running for parliament in the future to continue being a voice for women in her community.