Press Release

May 10, 2019

John Brassard, MP for Barrie-Innisfil, is looking forward to welcoming Zarmina Nekzai to Ottawa on Monday, May 13, 2019. Ms. Nekzai has been walking to Ottawa from her home in Barrie, Ontario since April 29, 2019 to raise awareness about the number of Afghan women and girls who are affected by domestic abuse. Ms. Nekzai will be arriving in Ottawa on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, 2019, concluding her 412km walk.

Zarmina Nekzai said “My goal is to have education, healthcare and shelter for women and children. When empowered, women are safe, healthy, and educated. Empowered women also have healthier families and grow economies.”

Zarmina has been recognized for building an outdoor ice rink in Kabul in her quest to fight for women’s rights and gender equality. The success and the joy of seeing Afghan girls play hockey on the rink inspired her to write her book “Hockey Girls of Kabul”.

Mr. Brassard commented “I am proud of Zarmina’s efforts and I look forward to having her here in Ottawa to talk with Parliamentarians about gender equality in Afghanistan and her journey to Ottawa.”

Ms. Nekzai is available for interviews on Monday and can be reached at 613-992-3394.

“Women and Girls are one of the most powerful forces for change in the world: When their rights are recognized, their needs are met, and their voices are heard, they drive positive change in their families, their communities, and the world.” – Zarmina Nekzai


For more information, contact:

Rob Dekker in the Office of MP John Brassard