Nargis Taraki has been an inspiration to her Musharikat colleagues for the past two years. It is rewarding to all that know her that the BBC recognized her good work by selecting her to be on their list of the “100 Most Inspiring and Influential Women of 2018.” Her work with Musharikat over the past two years enabled her to confidently go in front of a room of women and give an inspirational “Ted Ex” type talk on how “No man has the right to take away your identity as a woman.” This talk literally “spoke for itself,’ went viral, and landed Nargis in the BBC’s Top 100 list.

What is less known is that it was not always this way for Nargis. As she told an audience of young women at the Forward Together Forum recently, she was the fifth child and fifth girl for her parents, and neighbors literally tried to help by offering to trade their son for her because the neighbors were concerned that Nargis’ father would be desperate for a son. Fortunately the father would not hear of it and proudly exclaimed at the time, “I will prove that my daughters are better than any sons.”

Nargis has proved her father right, but it was hard work arriving to where she is today. Nargis gives all the credit to Musharikat for providing her the confidence and support she needed to share her story and to be the dynamic advocate for women’s empowerment that she has become. Nargis has been active in the Musharikat Access to Economic Opportunity Coalition that is advocating for better working conditions for women in government buildings. She was previously employed by Musharikat grantee Youth Coordination Empowerment Organization (YCEO) that worked closely with the Ghazni governor’s office to develop new guidelines on women’s employment (and received an official Letter of Appreciation for their efforts). She remains active within Musharikat and today is in a leadership role for her coalition.  She has finished school and has taken on a full time job as legal advisor for the Community Action for Healing Poverty organization.

The rest is history….Nargis spoke at the Promote Women in Economy’s Forward Together Forum, her excellent speech was put on Facebook, it went viral, BBC sees it, and selects her as one of the “Top 100 Inspiring and Influential Women for 2018.” But it was the advocacy training, networking, and friends she made at Musharikat that made her blossom into the leader she is today.

Musharikat is part of the USAID Promote program. USAID’s Promote Women’s Empowerment program consists of four components: leadership development, civil service training, economic empowerment and civil society advocacy. This five year program (2015-2020) has already assisted over 50,000 young women across the country.  

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