SLEEPING LIONS: AN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE ON THE FORMATION OF THE REVOLUTIONARY ASSOCIATION OF THE WOMEN OF AFGHANISTAN – Alicia D. Crumpton and Karen E. Norum
IWatching Afghanistan on TV from the comfort of our American living rooms, it is easy to assume that years of oppression have crushed Afghan women’s spirits. Yet upon actually visiting Afghanistan, one may well meet strong women who refuse to wear the burqa, taught in secret during the Taliban’s rule, and are fiercely proud of being Afghan. There is a collective resilience among Afghan women. In exploring a possible genesis of this resilience, we present the birth of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), with particular attention to its martyred founder, Meena. Meena’s transformative leadership style is explored by examining her formation of RAWA and interactions among her followers. RAWA is examined through the lens of Schein’s embedding mechanisms (Schein, 2004, p. 246) to learn how Meena’s vision resulted in such a dynamic, impactful organization still in existence today.