You do not have to be politically inclined to be an advocacy superhero, Farazana Wahidy is not.  She does not attend rallies or lead protests, but she has a camera and she uses it as her voice.

At 13 years old, the world of Farzana Wahidy changed.  The Taliban took over her country. She was required to wear a burqa in the streets and was no longer allowed to go to school.  Despite the Taliban rules, she hid books under her clothing and attended an underground school.  When the United States ended Taliban rule in 2001, Farzana attended high school and then a photo-journalism program.  She conquered barriers when she became the first female Afghan photographer for the American Free Press and then the Associated Press.

Farzana studied in Canada on scholarship, but returned to Afghanistan to tell the story of her country.  She says of her photography, ”I try to show the bigger image, not just show we have problems, and we do have a lot of problems, but I do want to show normal daily life.”  Farzana focuses on telling the stories of women.  Through her photography she is sharing the experiences of her country and being an Afghan woman.

With every photo, she tells a story, increases awareness and perhaps causes someone to feel a little different or more passionate about an issue.  Maternal health in Afghanistan is improving, but maternal mortality rates are still higher than in most parts of the world and one in ten children will die before their fifth birthday.  One photo can tell a story and that story can touch someone; they will act and change will happen.

 Parts of this piece were originally posted on the Strong Women, Strong World blog. You can read the full piece and see more photos here.

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