In a society where some men are skeptical of women and their abilities, Zohra Nabizada finds her passion in a field that is considered “masculine”. She said that her family and friends were not supporting her decision to study Engineering. To discourage her, people provide reasons such as: “engineering is not for women” or “you cannot find a job in this field”. Nevertheless, she continued to follow her passion.
Ms. Nabizadeh said that the insufficient and sometimes inaccurate information of some people about the field of engineering has always caused this field to have a masculine definition in people’s minds. “People’s perception of engineering is usually its physical work aspect, while it is not just physical work,” she said.
Ms. Nabizada, successfully studying and working in her favorite field, proves the hypothesis of her family and friends wrong. This is the third year that she has worked as an engineer with a design team in a private company.
“Some female engineers lose job opportunities because of negative perception about women’s ability. Some company officials believe that it is difficult to work in this field, and it is reserved for men only” she said.
Ms. Nabizadeh added that female engineers can prove their ability to officials by working in the training courses of some institutions and providing work samples, but often such opportunities are not provided for them.
As a woman, amid fears of occasional violence in the city, the plight of working women, which is part of the common problems of the city and the people, she also faces limitations. She added that few people accept a woman working as an engineer, so we cannot travel to the provinces to carry out our activities, and it is impossible for us to even travel to most areas inside Kabul.
Another major concern, according to Ms. Nabizada, is opposing views with regards to employed women in the society. She said that these views should not be strengthened after the peace agreement. She expressed concerns about the outcome of the peace talks, saying that working citizens, especially women, are still living in fear because of the security situation in the country. If women’s rights to employment is not protected after the peace agreement, society will not flourish. Despite the unknown outcome of the peace negotiations, she hoped for the establishment of a sustainable peace where women can live without fear of security threats, and work for the development of the country.
“We want peace to be established so that we can experience it. We demand employment opportunities for female engineers, so that they can work in different provinces.”, she expressed her demands.
Ms. Nabizada hoped that in the post-negotiation era, citizens should be able to use their knowledge and experiences for the development of the country, and that their abilities are not sacrificed under a Taliban-held system.