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War Studies student is one of BBCs most inspiring and influential women of 2021

Sahar Fetrat, MA Conflict, Security and Development, is an Afghan activist fighting against gender stereotypes and inequality.

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Sahar Fetrat, an MA student in the Department of War Studies, has been chosen by the BBC as one of the most inspiring and influential women of 2021

Sahar features on a list of 100 women from across the world who the BBC recognises for ‘playing their part to reinvent our society, our culture and our world’.

Sahar who is studying a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development, is an Afghan activist fighting against gender stereotypes, sexism and inequality. Her documentary on street harassment in Afghanistan, Do Not Trust My Silence (2013), reveals the abuse she and other Afghan women face on Kabul’s streets, something that was not widely acknowledged before she courageously took out her camera and began filming.

Since then, she has fought for the rights of Afghan women by working in the education unit of Unesco in Afghanistan and with Human Rights Watch.

“I hope to see a day when girls’ access to education is a basic right, not something to fight for. I hope to see Afghan girls fighting for dreams that are higher than the motherland’s mountains.”– Sahar Fetrat

Sahar sits alongside a range of influential women who are also being celebrated by the BBC, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai, Samoa’s First female Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mata'afa and Professor Heidi J Larson, who heads the Vaccine Confidence Project.

She is also one of fifty Afghanistan women named, who are being honoured for ‘the scope of their bravery and their achievements as they are forced to reset their lives’ since the resurgence of the Taliban in August 2021 that has impacted the lives of millions of Afghans.’

Sahar is a recipient of the Alexandria Peterson Scholarship at King’s College London, which gives MA funding to gifted students from Afghanistan, Central Asia and the South Caucasus. The scholarship enables recipients to access world-class university education in conflict, security and development so they can go on to lead and serve their communities.