By: The Kabul Times
To mark the role of the 100 Women of the Year in history, the Time Magazine embarked on something historic of their own: creating a TIME cover to recognize each of them.
From charcoal portraits to a three-dimensional paper sculpture, from photo collages to fine-art paintings, from wooden sculptures to a quilted fabric image, the art we commissioned reflects the breadth of the 100 choices. Regardless of style, their aim was to find compelling pairings of artist and subject.
Thursday, Time rolled out its “100 Women of the Year,” a project that gives a unique cover to each honoree and, like “Person of the Year,” grants them a write-up from some of the most notable modern contributors. For instance, Natalie Portman penned the profile of 1962’s honoree, Jacqueline Kennedy and Olivia Wilde wrote about 1992’s Sinead O’Connor. A special print edition of the magazine features a pull-out poster with all 100 new covers, which also live online along with the essays. “We looked back in history and wanted to acknowledge the women that history hasn’t always recognized or looked at,” editor Kelly Conniff told TheWrap prior to the announcement of the list. She attributed that lack of recognition to “the way the world worked” for so long, but noted her team’s goal has been “to kind of celebrate, acknowledge and recognize and find the women that deserve to have their moment on the cover of Time.” According to the Time, there were always women who wore the crown, literal or not: Queen Soraya Tarzi of Afghanistan or Queen Elizabeth II of England, global stateswomen like Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Corazon Aquino. But it is interesting that the first woman to appear on the cover of TIME, was an Afghan Queen.
The daughter of a liberal Afghan intellectual, Queen Soraya Tarzi was fond of breaking with tradition. As the first Queen Consort of Afghanistan and wife of King Amanullah Khan, she became one of the most powerful figures in the Middle East in the 1920s and was known throughout the world for her progressive ideas. Tarzi and Khan worked closely together; in 1926 he declared, “I am your King, but the Minister of Education is my wife, your Queen.”
In the face of opposition, the couple campaigned against polygamy and the veil, and practiced what they preached; Tarzi was known for tearing off her veil in public and instead wearing wide-brimmed hats with an attached veil. A fierce believer in women’s rights and education, she opened the country’s first school for girls, and along with her mother founded the country’s first women’s magazine in 1927, called Ershad-I-Niswan, or “Guidance for Women.”
Saying that independence “belongs to all of us,” Tarzi called for women to “take their part” in nation building. A second wave of reform in Afghanistan in the 1970s would echo Tarzi’s ideas from 50 years before, with a rise in women’s education and representation in political life, and the raising of the marriage age.