Women who have found their way through adversity and are able to do much more for themselves and the society than the circumstances permit have always inspired me. Roya Mahboob, the CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company (ACSC) is one such amazing person who is doing a lot for the cause of women’s education and empowerment in Afghanistan. She is partnering with Film Annex in Afghan Development initiatives. Her IT company provides employment opportunities for women. She spent her initial childhood years in Iran. Her family came back to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban regime. Since then she has done her Bachelor in Computer Science from Herat University and is pursuing her MBA through Malaysia University online.
She explains that the education system in Afghanistan is very basic. Most girls would either not study or just acquire basic education. Even those who pursue studies till their Bachelor’s degrees find no options available for higher studies. Only a lucky few with financial resources pursue further education in countries like India or have to do their courses online. Educated women often find it hard to go out and work too. Most of them end up taking teaching jobs because their parents normally do not encourage them to work with a male workforce or in government jobs. And, thus opportunities for women who want to work are few and far between. In this scenario, Roya set up her IT company, AFSC, that actively seeks out women employees. She offers training and hands-on assignments that enriches their resumes. She hopes that more women will be inspired by her initiative to setup their own companies thus helping many other women in turn.
She believes that education of women is the way forward not only for the economy but for peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. As more women get educated and join the workforce as professionals and in government positions, change in policies and attitudes will benefit the entire Afghan society. She is actively involved in the spread of computer education and internet. She believes that internet and social media offer immense opportunities to learn, connect, market and earn online. She especially feels that women not allowed or unable to work from outside their homes can benefit a lot from online resources and online opportunities. She is also actively collaborating with Film Annex in their initiative to build internet classrooms in Afghanistan where her company provides training and technological assistance to students and teachers, and there are programs that the students may pursue. She also is encouraging the students to utilize media like videos, blogs, and social media to interact and collaborate with the global community and to provide the true picture of today’s Afghanistan to the world outside. She is also a volunteer with the Afghan National Academy of Sciences.
She is an inspiration to women around the world. With her wonderful initiatives, she hopes to make a real change in the lives of women in her country.
Do see the video above for her complete interview and to understand her life and achievements. A young lady of grit and determination, Roya Mahboob is someone worth knowing about.
Do read all my posts on Film Annex about issues related to Afghanistan.