Follow Up in 2023 - Spotlight On Women Around The World

Women's day


Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor the powerful and inspiring stories of women from all over the world. You will remember Rona from Kabul, the seamstress who had so many wishes for her country and family. Bahar, an emergency medicine physician in San Jose who was part of a team to get the hospital ready after COVID rampaged through China. Or Therese, the shop owner who was home when the blasts happened in Beirut or  Esther the bee-keeper and mother of 5 from Malawi. With this beautiful celebratory month coming to a close we wanted to see where these incredible women were today and how things have changed for them. What is particularly striking about these stories is that each of these incredible women didn't see their experiences as extraordinary or worthy of celebration. They simply lived their lives in the best way they knew how, overcoming obstacles and fighting for their beliefs. These stories bring us together as individuals, communities, and societies to build a better world for all women, and to celebrate the courage and achievements of those who have come before us.
This year, we wanted to share where these women are today and celebrate all that they have accomplished.

Rona is an exceptional woman who has taken on multiple roles within the Zarif team which designs handmade clothing by merging traditional techniques with modern aesthetics. Now, Rona has stepped up to another level, she is now the deputy and the main face in Afghanistan representing the brand. 

Her expertise in tailoring and design has led her to be the leader in production and training for the women on the team. Not only does she contribute to the team's production but she still assists with tailoring work whenever possible. Despite the challenges they face, Rona leads by example as an inspiring woman who has mastered her skills and taken charge in a leadership position. Her dedication and passion for her craft not only elevate the Zarif team but also inspire women everywhere to pursue their goals.

Zarif Design's mission is to create employment opportunities and income for talented artisans in Kabul by bringing together communities of weavers, tailors and embroiderers. The result is a collection of stunning and unique products that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Afghanistan while also championing the skills and creativity of its people.

Rona hopes for her family and country are simple: She hopes for her family's physical and spiritual wellbeing, she hopes they can be self-sufficient, be able to put food on their own tables and take care of their families. She hopes that their hearts and minds are at peace. Her hopes and dreams for her country are very similar: she hopes everyone can emotionally & physically sustain themselves. Everyone should be able to live in peace, in safety, dignity & earn their bread.



Dr Bahar Mojgani is an Emergency Medicine Physician and Co-Chair of Disaster Management in San Jose, California. 

“The past few years of post-Covid recovery have been exhausting. Our hospital has had to regroup and collectively work in busier patient environments while treating higher acuity illnesses with fewer staff. However, we have invested more in emergency management preparations, including for novel infectious disease outbreaks.

It's clear that physician morale has been impacted, eroding what we once found sacred about our work. Many physicians have redirected their careers to other fields, with some partners leaving medicine early.

Yet, there is an air of hope on the horizon. We can all remember why we entered this field and have affirming moments every day. New leadership offers us the promise of better systems led by technology that can make it easier for us to reach more patients. Like many other doctors, I imagine a healthcare environment where even preventative care is made much more accessible for patients.

I continue my work as an ED physician and enjoy it very much. I also continue to direct emergency management for our hospital. Recently, I have become interested in physician advocacy and hope to engage with policymakers as both a citizen and a doctor.

From time to time, I reflect on how far we have come since Covid first affected us. Those of us who have witnessed the illnesses, deaths, anxiety, terror, poverty, depression, taking inventory, and rebuilding are more courageous and empowered in a way that only hardship can leave us. I am grateful for my team and the people I can count on in the battles yet to come. They are everything.”



As a mother enrolled in Yamba Malawi's Childhoods and Livelihoods Program, Esther has been able to start a beekeeping business that is providing her with a steady source of income to feed her family. Although she hopes to grow her business to better support her children. Thanks to her efforts and the support of Yamba Malawi, her twins are enrolled at Tiyambenawo preschool and all her children regularly attend school. Despite the ongoing challenges, including a recent storm that thankfully did not damage her home and the local school, Esther remains committed to creating a better life for her children through her hard work and entrepreneurship.

Esther and her family are based in Lilongwe District in the Central Region where most of Cyclone Freddy devastated the Southern Region and has made the roads difficult to travel.


Therese is a shop owner who was at home when the blast happened in Beirut in 2020. Her home and her business smashed into pieces and she also suffered injuries.

Thanks to the support of Together LiBeirut, Life Lebanon and The House of Christmas her business continued to operate after receiving the strategic and comprehensive support program specifically designed for micro businesses affected by the blast.

Despite the challenges Therese is still going strong and supports her family.