Our host, Jenni Prisk, interviews Wazhma Frogh from Afghanistan who is the director of the Women & Peace Studies Organization (WPSO), which she co-founded in 2012. She has been a senior advisor on women in security and human rights for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, and a deputy chief of staff to the Afghan Ministry of the Interior.
Wazhma Frogh is only 35 years old, yet she is changing the rules for women and girls in Afghanistan. Working on the front lines she is helping to shape the nation. Listen to her dynamic conversation!
Excerpts from Interview
- “Girls are raised to be silent, obedient and carry the work of the family.”
- “I never liked the way girls were treated.”
- “Every time it was my turn to clean I would go and play with the boys.”
- “1989 we had to leave Afghanistan and went to Pakistan as refugees…that became an opportunity…I was 11 and I started teaching our landlady’s children so she waived the rent.”
- In the Loya Jirga all 40 men wouldn’t even notice or acknowledge me.”
- “I can explain the security argument with the US is not an international convention, and I went to the front of the room and started writing all this down on a flipchart and the men said she has a brain, and I became the spokesperson to the President.”
- “Women have to work 2 – 3 times harder than men (in the US too).”
- “Women are not only accepted in the police force, they are needed.”
- “Women working in the front lines all fear for their lives.”
Biography of Wazhma Frogh
Frogh is a pioneer working for women’s inclusion in security sector reform processes, with a particular focus on women in the police force. In 2009, she was a recipient of the U.S. State Department’s Women of Courage award.
The interview takes place at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego while Wazhma was in residence as a Women PeaceMaker in the Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ).
More About The IPJ Women PeaceMakers Program
Since 2003, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) at the University of San Diego has welcomed four women peacemakers each year from around the world.
The women reside at the University of San Diego Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies for two months and share their stories which are documented by four Peace Writers. While the women are in residence, “they have opportunities to exchange ideas and approaches to peacemaking and justice, which helps increase their capacity to participate in conflict resolution and peace building efforts.”