"Voices of Women"

Winner of 2003 Social Justice Documentary Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Filmed in March 2002, Sadaa E Zan collects the voices of several Afghan women living in Kabul, Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan. In a land where 50% of women are widows and nearly everyone has lost a family member, these brave women, of all ages, recount their struggles and victories from living under 23 years of war. From the Soviet invasion to the Civil War to the extremist Taliban, be it fighting, poverty, rape or seclusion, women were always the first victims. How did they survive?

Several reveal their stories of rebellion, be it housing an illegal home school for girls, hidden work training programs, an underground beauty parlor or a refugee medical clinic. Most of the women, despite their hardships, did not lose their morale and spirit. However, family loss and suffering has taken a deep toll on society as a whole and women are learning that psychological damage is now their new enemy.

With the Taliban now gone, Afghanistan finally finds itself with the possibility of peace. But will it last? This, they believe, is in the hands of the international community. Finally, these women have a way to voice their concerns. Listen as they speak directly to you about their hopes, beliefs and concerns for not only the future of the Afghan woman but for the country itself.

"Despite all the media I've seen on the plight of women in Afghanistan, here, for the first time, I was able to listen to the women themselves... to hear their words, their stories, see their expression in their eyes. With this video, the Afghan women's voices can finally be heard."

Produced and Drected by Renee Bergan
A Renegade Pictures, Inc. Production
Co-produced by RAWA supporters, Santa Barbara
Shot and Edited by Renee Bergan
Partial funding provided by Fund for Santa Barbara