Afghan Women's Project

Afghan Women’s Project

Peggy was inspired to begin the Afghan Women’s Project after meeting with a delegation of Afghan women who passed through Austin, Texas during the fall of 2002. The strength, humor and resiliency of these women was contrary to the media image of Afghan women as helpless victims. It inspired Peggy to create The Afghan Women's Project in order to share this side of Afghan women with western audiences. This project’s goal, seeking out wisdom and sources of strength from women who have experienced such repression and hardship, is one of the ways Peggy can merge her love of photography with her interest in human psychology as well as concretely benefit both Afghan women and the viewers.
Peggy traveled to Afghanistan in August and September of 2003, returning with photographs and interviews of 40 women. They are of various ages and come from differing social classes, ethnic groups and areas of the country. Currently, 23 of the women form an exhibit that also includes their biographies and excerpts from their interviews.
Since that time, she has interviewed Malalai Joya, the member of Parliament who stood up the first day it was in session to declare "how can we have a democracy when there are warlords and criminals in the government?" In July of '09, she interviewed Shakila Haidari, one of the organizers of the demonstration against the marital rape provisions of the Haraza Family Law.
Use of the exhibit, Afghan Women, Portraits and Stories, is available to organizations worldwide that wish raise awareness about Afghan Women. Additionally, Peggy offers three different slide shows: Spirit of Afghanistan, showing Afghanistan in general and her observations there, Women of Afghanistan which focuses on the lives and stories of individual women, half of whom are not included in the exhibit. Spirit of Afghanistan for Photojournalists expands Spirit of Afghanistan to cover what it takes to put together a project, tells stories about the photographs and gives tips on working in foreign countries.
Peggy was inspired to begin the Afghan Women’s Project after meeting with a delegation of Afghan women who passed through Austin, Texas during the fall of 2002. The strength, humor and resiliency of these women was contrary to the media image of Afghan women as helpless victims. It inspired Peggy to create The Afghan Women's Project in order to share other sides of Afghan women with western audiences. This project’s goal, seeking out wisdom and sources of strength from women who have experienced such repression and hardship, is one of the ways Peggy can merge her love of photography with her interest in human psychology as well as concretely benefit both Afghan women and the viewers. Peggy traveled to Afghanistan in August and September of 2003, returning with photographs and interviews of 40 women. They are of various ages and come from differing social classes, ethnic groups and areas of the country. She returned in 2010 to expand upon her work and spent two and a half months in Kabul, Herat and the Bamiyan area, this time returning with 76 interviews, 27 of which form a photo exhibit that also includes each woman's biography and an excerpt from her interview. Use of the exhibit, Afghan Women 2010, Portraits and Stories is available to organizations worldwide that wish raise awareness about Afghan Women. Additionally, Peggy offers three different slide shows: Afghanistan, 2010, A View from the Ground, showing some of the things that surprised Peggy and providing a general understanding of Afghanistan from her observations there, Women of Afghanistan 2010 which focuses on the lives and stories of individual women, half of whom are not included in the exhibit. Human Rights in Afghanistan 2010 shares the stories of women as they relate to various women’s and human rights issues.