Participants and teachers at the storytelling workshop
Women Spread the Word

Encouraging Afghan women to tell their stories

This pilot project, under our Culture and Peace-building programme, encourages women in Afghanistan to tell their stories.  The project gives them the chance to ‘be heard’ individually, and then to process their, often traumatic, stories into tangible material which will be of use to future generations as well as historians. 

The project aims to create an archive of stories from Afghan women with the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University, which currently manages the country’s largest volume of online and offline resources. 

A two-day workshop to collect stories was led by Julia Paul, a lecturer in broadcasting at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland and a former BBC journalist. The women attending the workshop came from Bamiyan, Kandahar, Kabul and, for the first time ever, from the southern Helmand province.  At the end of the workshop, a number of the participants were identified to work as mentors in their provinces to continue the story collection process with other women.

A female writer has also been chosen to help with creative writing as the project goes into its next phase.  Further workshops are scheduled for August 2014 when women from other provinces will be invited to attend.