Behishta

Afghan Delegation, 2009
Seeds of Peace GATHER Fellow, 2020

IMPACT: SOCIAL

Reducing violence against Afghan women.

How has Seeds of Peace had an impact on you?

My love of working with people, especially women, is connected to my Seeds of Peace Camp experience at age of 14 in 2009. I learnt about co-existence, friendship, loyalty, diversity, and how to change the world for the better. Overall, the experience changed my life and inspired me to get involved in various volunteer projects. These opportunities gave me leadership experience, which is rare in my community.

How have you impacted your community?

I co-created and piloted the Tollfree Helpline for Women and Children in Afghanistan, the first ever hotline in Afghanistan which aims to reduce violence against women. We provide access to legal and psychological advice for women and children through their mobile phones.

The idea for the hotline came to us in 2018 when I was working with Ministry of Women’s Affairs and I saw that rates of violence against women had increased in the past three years. We began to recognize that one reason was a lack of access to legal courts and protection centers. We drafted a proposal to create a free hotline for women across the country and to provide them with information about their rights and how to escape violence at home.

I have extensive professional experience in research and policy making and have worked with a variety of government institutions as well as local and international NGOs.

From a very young age, I was heavily involved in many social justice campaigns in my community to advocate for environmental, peace-building, and women’s rights.

“My ultimate goal is to build a community free of discrimination against women, where women can enjoy the same rights as men. ”