At 29 years old, Naheed Farid is the youngest member of Afghanistan’s lower house of parliament. She recently took time out from her hectic schedule to answer questions from EurasiaNet.org about her efforts to “break taboos” and encourage young people to get more involved in the Afghan political process.
Farid holds an undergraduate degree from Herat University and a master’s in international relations from The George Washington University in the US. She garnered the most votes of the more than 400 female candidates in the 2010 parliamentary elections.
She has found it is difficult to get things done in the legislature. Resistance to change is strong, and efforts to press ahead with legislation designed to improve education and equal opportunities for women have stalled recently. These days, Farid characterizes the Afghan legislature as “backward,” but still retains hope that change is possible through grass-roots activism. A transcript of Farid’s interview with EurasiaNet.org follows:
EurasiaNet: What motivated you to pursue a career in politics?
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Nicholas DiCesare is an editorial associate for EurasiaNet.org in New York.