Sleeping Lions: an American Perspective on the Formation of the
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan


Authors: Alicia D. CRUMPTON and Karen E. NORUM
Published in: Vol:8 No.2 / 2007

      Watching Afghanistan on TV from the comfort of our American living rooms, it is easy to assume that years of oppression have crushed Afghan womenís spirits. Yet upon actually visiting Afghanistan, one may well meet strong women who refuse to wear the burqa, taught in secret during the Talibanís 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. Meenaís transformative leadership style is explored by examining her formation of RAWA and interactions among her followers. RAWA is examined through the lens of Scheinís embedding mechanisms (Schein, 2004, p. 246) to learn how Meenaís vision resulted in such a dynamic, impactful organization still in existence today.