As a technology entrepreneur in Afghanistan, Roya Mahboob has challenged cultural stereotypes and opened new pathways for numerous young women across the country. The CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company, she oversees an information technology consulting firm that has created software and databases for government agencies, businesses, and noteworthy entities such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Ms. Mahboob employs several female personnel, increasing accessibility to the job by allowing some of the women to work from home.
While Afghan Citadel Software presents a valuable professional opportunity for Afghan women, Ms. Mahboob’s efforts in the realm of female empowerment extend far beyond her own company. She has worked to increase public Internet access for women across Afghanistan by establishing 40 classrooms offering free access, providing an alternative to Internet cafes, where women may not feel safe or welcome. Ms. Mahboob’s classrooms offer Internet access to over 160,000 female students, connecting them to a vast global network of educational tools and empowering resources.
These resources include a multilingual blog launched by Ms. Mahboob to offer Afghan women the opportunity to share their personal stories via text and video. The blogging platform teaches students the art of digital storytelling and provides compensation for their contributions. In this way, it serves to empower young Afghan women personally and economically while working to change the global perception of Afghanistan.