Saraya Pakzad is a prominent Afghani Human Rights Defender. In 1998 she founded the Voice of Women Organisation (VWO). Initially, the organisation had to be secret for fear of Taliban retribution.
VWO declares its intentions clearly and publicly: ‘to empower women for an active participation in decision making and nation building at all levels’. In order to achieve this they offer job training and literacy skills. They try to provide emergency shelter and medical care. Their main emphasis though is on educating women on their rights and to fight for rights currently denied them.
Time magazine listed Pakzad in their 100 Most Powerful People 2009.