The Citadel of Herat, in western Afghanistan, which dates back to 300 BC and was restored by UNESCO in the 1970s.
UNAMA/Fraidoon Poya

FEATURE: In Western Afghanistan, an ancient love of poetry thrives again

As she begins to read her poem, Fatema’s voice is faint and unsure of itself. She has been writing poetry only for the last six months because, as she explains, she wants to get in touch with her inner feelings. What emerges in her recitation has echoes of Afghanistan’s ancient past, and signs of a new and modern passion. What is heard, translated from Dari, is a short narrative about the horrors of war – “The color of blood and cold corpses … fresh bodies thrown into battle” – and Fatema’s own story, one that ends with the hope that, “somewhere between the lines, set in the sweetness, is a space without war.”
UNAMA/Sayed M. Shah

UN promotes women’s entrepreneurship in Afghanistan

Across Afghanistan, women’s employment opportunities are limited. In remote areas of the country, women rarely work outside the home because of cultural constraints and the ongoing conflict.

Those Afghan women who do work in rural areas typically find work in the public sector as teachers and healthcare professionals.

Thanks in part to international support and government programmes, women in the western region of Afghanistan are coming together to focus on starting and running successful businesses.