Afghanistan: Suraya Parlika

I look with pride at the Afghan women’s participation in the Presidential elections. This is an indication that our decades-long efforts have not been brought to naught.

— Suraya Parlika

Suraya Parlika was born in Kamari Village of Bagrami District in 1944 to an educated family. She completed her secondary education in 1962 at Zarghona High School. In 1963, Suraya was full of fervor for academic education, and in 1966 she obtained a BSc from the Faculty of Economics, Kabul University. In 1973, she went to Kiev, the Republic of Ukraine, to pursue her postgraduate studies, and in 1977 she obtained her Masters Degree in Economics and Bilateral Relationship. Suraya Parlika returned to Afghanistan and secured a teaching post in the Foreign Relations Department at Kabul University.

Witnessing the injustice and the degraded status of women in Afghan society, Suraya Parlika was inspired to motivate a group of dedicated women and found the Democratic Women’s Organization (DWO). Along with the DWO members, Parlika started to mobilize women to take part in the parliamentary election. She also took an active role against a proposal of some of the parliament members who wanted to ban girls and women from traveling abroad to receive education. At present, Parlika’s network extends nationwide and she acts as president of the All Afghan Women Union (AAWU). This organization represents women of all sectors. The relative stability and women’s involvement in social work in Afghanistan, make her optimistic about the future of women. She looks with pride and joy at the incorporation of an article that codifies the equal rights of men and women in the Afghan Constitution. Parlika is also delighted by the participation of Afghan women in the Presidential elections, a step that for a long time she has encouraged women to take.

Democratic Women’s Organization (DWO) All Afghan Women Union (AAWU)