Survivor

‘Bravest woman in Afghanistan’ continues to fight despite multiple assassination attempts by Taliban

Roghul Khairzad, a senator and human rights activist from Afghanistan, has endured multiple attacks on her life, including an attempt in August 2013 in which she was shot nine times. Her brother Ghulam and her nine-year-old daughter, Dunya, were killed in the attack, which left Dunya’s twin sister paralyzed. This past January Khairzad was attacked again when gunmen opened fire on her car. Her injuries left her in a coma for two weeks, and her son, who witnessed the attack, is suffering from trauma. “As soon as I came out of hospital after the first attack I went straight back to work,” wrote Khairzad in a post for Amnesty International. “I wanted to show them I can continue working. And I wanted to motivate other women to carry on their work too.” Khairzad, who received the Ministry of Women’s Affairs’ award for bravest women in Afghanistan for her work, said the Taliban uses violence and fear to stop women from pursuing increased rights or power, and that the Afghan government has done nothing to protect her or other women. Despite feeling “broken,” Khairzad said she will continue to fight for the Afghan people. “If you have a higher mission in life,” she explained, “it can be important enough to keep you going.”

Read the full story at Amnesty International.

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