Fatema Akbari

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Fatema Akbari
Native name فاطمه اکبری
Born Fatema
Afghanistan Afghanistan
Residence Afghanistan Kabul
Nationality Afghanistan Afghan
Ethnicity Hazara
Alma mater American University of Afghanistan[1]
Religion Shia Islam
Awards 10,000 Women Entrepreneurial Achievement Award

Part of a series on
People of Bamyan-3.jpg Hazara people

Fatema Akbari (Persian: فاطمه اکبری‎‎)[2] is an Afghan entrepreneur and women's advocate who is founder of the Gulistan Sasaqat Company and non-governmental organization the Women Affairs Council. In 2011 she received the 10,000 Women Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.[2][3]


Fatema Akbari was driven into carpentry by necessity as a means of supporting her children following the death of her husband in 1999,[4] originally working on building sites in Iran, where her family fled when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.[2] In 2003 she returned to homeland and started furniture manufacturing business by establishing Gulistan Sadaqat Company in Kabul with a carpentry school.[5] She attempted to provide a workforce base as a means of earning to wives of men killed or disabled during conflict in Afghanistan.[6] In 2009 she enrolled in the Goldman Sachs-sponsored 10,000 Women program at the American University of Afghanistan,[2] a program aimed at training women from developing countries in business and management.[7]

In expanding her operations and women's literacy classes, Akbari has been able to work in Taliban-controlled areas though negotiations with local leaders and has commented "It would be good for the Taliban to be involved in the country, to see that there’s nothing wrong with women leaving the house."[8]

In 2004, Fatema Akbari founded Afghanistan NGO the Women Affairs Council to train women in handicrafts in addition to educating both sexes about human rights.[9] Between the NGO and her own business, it was estimated that as of 2011 she had trained 5,610 people across Afghanistan.[9]

10,000 Women Entrepreneurial Achievement Award[edit]

On 12 April 2011 Akbari was honoured with the 10,000 Women Entrepreneurial Achievement Award at the Global Leadership Awards. In presenting, Vital Voices commended her

"for her work to empower other Afghan women — through the training and employment provided by her carpentry business, and through the literacy and skills training provided by her non-governmental organization (NGO) to women in Taliban-controlled areas."[2]

Further work[edit]

During 30–31 March 2011, Akbari was a panel member at a 2 day conference in Dallas, Texas convened by former United States President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai entitled Building Afghanistan’s Future: Promoting Women’s Freedom and Advancing Their Economic Opportunity.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.vitalvoices.org/node/1564
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fatema Akbari". Vital Voices Global Partnership. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Reisner, Mimi (13 April 2011). "The Tenth Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards". The Washington Scene. The Hill. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Afghan women carve a career in a man’s world". NATO. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Scott, Sylvia R.J. (24 March 2011). "Fatima Akbari, Afghan Mother, Role-Model, Social Entrepreneur and Business Owner". Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Employee Dilemma: When Family and Business Don't Mix". Knowledge@Wharton. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Goldman Sachs Launces 10,000 Women" (PDF) (Press release). Goldman Sachs. 5 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-04-26. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (23 October 2010). "What About Afghan Women?". New York Times (New York City). Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Building Afghanistan’s Future: Promoting Women’s Freedom and Advancing their Economic Opportunity" (PDF). Speakers and Panellists Bios. Dallas, Texas: George W. Bush Institute. March 31, 2011. p. 12. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Building Afghanistan's Future" (Press release). George W. Bush Institute. March 31, 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 

External links[edit]