Women defy the Taliban with technological expertise – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

Women defy the Taliban with technological expertise – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

– I want to give them the tools they need to explore the world, says Roya Mahboob, president of the company Digital Citizen Fund.

lovable Afghanistan’s first female technology manager, working to ensure that girls and women gain technological competence. She believes it could be a way to win more freedom for women.

Because the freedom of girls and women in Afghanistan was severely curtailed again in 2021, when the United States withdrew from Afghanistan. The world witnessed chaotic scenes of desperate people clinging to American planes in Kabul, hoping to escape.

Thousands tried to flee when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.

Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Withdrawal even with the return of the Taliban to power. 20 years of progress for women in Afghanistan has now been held back by the Taliban, Type United Nations.

Afghan girls and women have succeeded several prohibitions Forced to stay home.

Rival robot teams

Mahboob teaches girls coding, programming, and robotics, in addition to teaching English.

In 2017, she founded the Afghan Girls Robotics Team, a robotics team of 12 robotic girls who have participated in international competitions.

After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, many girls were evacuated to Qatar. There they can continue their education in the field of technology.

Girls in Afghanistan, Digital Citizen Fund

Mahboob wants to give women financial freedom through education in the field of technology.

Photo: Ruya Mahboob/Digital Citizen Fund

The Internet changed her life

Mehboob excitedly tells NRK about the first time he was allowed to join his father and brother in an internet café. Then I discovered the possibilities on the Internet. It changes her life, and she wants to share this with other girls and women.

She believes it is scary to think about the future if it does not prepare the younger generations for the jobs that are to come. Through technological proficiency, she wants to make Afghan girls ready for these jobs of the future:

– This is the future. We should have female representation there.

Technology has no limits

Working with technology means you can work from home:

They can still stay home and earn money. Mahboob says, as long as they don’t go out, they can’t control it.

Roya Mahboob, CEO and Founder of the Digital Citizen Fund, at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2023

Roya Mahboob is the first female CTO in Afghanistan.

Photo: Mirwais Muqeem/NRK

The reason she chose the field of technology was because her work could not be constrained by physical boundaries. If you have proficiency and know English, you can work in companies abroad.

– You just need a computer and skills, you say.

But the Taliban made it more difficult. In March, educational activist Motiullah Waissa was arrested for “suspicious activity”. He worked for women’s right to go to school, and has run secret schools for girls since the Taliban came to power.

Before the Mehboob Organization had 13 physical centres, now they only have one in Kabul. Now he will start an online school. She believes that the Internet can enable her to continue her work.

The goal is to open a physical high school as soon as it becomes legal Steam training.

In addition to the fact that the Taliban closed the women’s university in Afghanistan, they also closed all organizations working for women’s rights, says Mahboob:

They took away women’s freedom.

Trust the younger generation

But she doesn’t think the way forward will be easy for the Taliban. She has great confidence in the younger generation.

Afghan women hold banners during a demonstration in Kabul on April 29, 2023.

Afghan women demonstrated in April against foreign countries recognizing the Taliban government.

Photo: AFP

– They forgot that Afghanistan has a population of 27 million people under the age of twenty-five. She says they grew up with phones, television, free speech, and civil courts.

Additionally, Mahboob believes there is a difference between women today and when the Taliban ruled in the 1990s:

Afghan women are strong. They will fight for their rights. We are different, not like the older generations.

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Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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