Afghan Women's Writing Project

They Can't Read but They Will Vote on April 5

Illiterate Afghan Women Interviewed by AWWP Writers


San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/25/2014 -- Despite suicide bombings and constant oppressions, Afghan women are boldly preparing for the April 5 presidential elections, including those who never had an education. To give voice to these illiterate women, writers from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP) interviewed several of them, translated their words into English, and are using their own writing platform at to share these opinions on the upcoming elections.

In “Voting to Make a Bright Future for My Children,” Madina, 35 and a mother of 7, regrets that she cannot read and write but is determined to vote. “I did not participate in the last election because my husband did not allow me to vote,” she told AWWP writer Ragina. “He understands now that women have the right to vote and select their president, the same as men.”

Raised in the northern city of Maimana and married at 16, Farida is a widow raising five children. Farida, now 27, will cast her vote in Mazar-E-Sharif where she lives. “There’s nothing preventing me from participating. I can’t read, but I know my favorite candidate by sight. There is a female director to show us how to vote.”

Since the Independent Election Commission began registration for the April vote, 3.6 million new voters have been added to the role, including 1.2 million women. Whether these women will be able to safely get to the polls may be in question, but their determination is strong.

“I am a woman who has the right to vote,” says Sadaf from Kabul. “Even though I am uneducated, I can choose my leader to build the future of Afghanistan.”

“We all fear for the future of Afghanistan, but I love being able to participate in the upcoming election and vote for our next leader,” says Shukria from Parwan. As to whether or not they think the new president should negotiate with the Taliban or, Shukria echoes the common theme in every woman’s story: “I wish for peace for Afghanistan.”

About The Afghan Women’s Writing Project
The Afghan Women’s Writing Project provides online writing workshops for Afghan women, sharing their "voices" with the world online. Read these interviews and 1700 other poems and essays at