- Region: Asia
- Country / Conflict-Affected Area: Afghanistan
- Position: Director and Founder
- Organization: Research Institute for Women Peace and Security - Afghanistan (RIWPS)
- Expertise: Security
Wazhma Frogh, Founder & Director at the Research Institute for Women Peace & Security- Afghanistan, is a women’s rights activist who has dedicated herself to advancing the inclusion of women in Afghan society for more than 17 years. Ms. Frogh, who quotes “religious gatekeepers” in Afghanistan as saying that women should be at home or in the grave, first became aware of gender inequality at the age of 12. She began changing expectations for women within her own conservative family, which included her ex-army officer father.
Ms. Frogh and her co-founder conceptualized RIWPS following their participation in Afghanistan’s Peace Loya Jirga in 2010. Recognizing that the voices and perspectives of women were largely missing from these conversations, they founded RIWPS to promote women’s inclusion in peacebuilding. Since then, Ms. Frogh has worked with women leaders from all over the country to ensure that women are utilized as resources for building peace at the local level and that they are meaningfully including in the country’s peace process.
As part of her longstanding activism, Ms. Frogh also continues to lobby for women’s inclusion in the security sector. She works with members of the Ministry of Interior, female members of Afghan Parliament, and young women across the country to support recruitment strategies and build awareness of the vital role women play in identifying and addressing security concerns.
She is a frequent representative spokesperson at national, regional, and international convenings on Afghanistan. She has an LLM in international development law and human rights from Warwick University in the United Kingdom. Ms. Frogh also studied human rights, legislative advocacy, and gender and peacebuilding at Harvard University and George Washington University.
A 2009 recipient of the US Department of State’s International Women of Courage award, Ms. Frogh aspires to be a chief justice, citing legal protection as key for women’s rights and empowerment.
Read more about Wazhma Frogh:
An Afghan Pullout Would Be a Rights Disaster
By Wazhma Frogh, Washington Post
October 18, 2009
Inside Islam, a Woman’s Roar
By Jill Carroll, The Christian Science Monitor
March 5, 2008
Last Updated: June 2015