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Samar Esapzai

SesapZai Blogs

About SesapZai

I am a Pashtun-Canadian woman who is very passionate about international development and humanitarian issues around the world. I consider myself an artist of sorts, and I am currently pursuing my doctorate (Ph.D.) in International Rural Development, focusing my research on gender and development (GAD) and the empowerment of rural Pashtun women.

I am also an active member of the Pashtun Organization for Women (POW) — a non-profit organization dedicated to helping and empowering Pashtun women, living in Afghanistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Our aim is to build schools, micro-credit programs, development programs and liaise with various humanitarian organizations like the United Nations, for example, to help aid in the social and economic development of women.


I wish I could say that I’ve become immune to these uncalled for murders, but I can’t.

I am still not over the murders of Faridi Afridi – the brave advocate for women’s rights in FATA, nor that of Anisa’s – the young polio volunteer worker in Kapisa province (Afghanistan). It pains me to learn about the brutal and untimely murders of these brave women, whose aim is to better the lives of not only fellow women, but of society as a whole.


“Working as a Pashtun female is not easy in any field,” said one of my Pashtun Journalist friends, Sana Safi.

The biggest problem faced by many Pashtun women... is that of safety and security.“When I was in Afghanistan I had to change my route every day from work to home and home to work.."


It appears that the most notorious form of women trafficking within the Khyber-Pashtunkhwa region is the practice of “selling” young brides for a price. This practice is common in many districts of the region, where it is known as walwar....


"There is no denying that male inclusion increases men’s responsibility for change. Explicitly addressing men can increase men’s belief that they, too, will gain from gender equality" - writes SesapZai...


At only 25, Farida had visions to help her Pashtun women; help them fight against inequality and oppression; help them become the women they yearned and deserved to become; help them recognize their basic human rights; and help them realize what it is like to be human again,...