The Taliban and the Future of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan
Mon, Dec 13, 2021 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
What is the current situation of Afghan women and women’s rights after the Taliban took over Afghanistan? What’s next?
About this event
Lina AbiRafeh is a global women’s rights expert and humanitarian aid worker with decades of experience worldwide. Since 2015, she has served as the Executive Director of the Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University, an academic and activist institute covering the 22 Arab states. The Institute was established in 1973 as the first women’s institute in the Arab region – and one of the first globally. Lina spent over 20 years in development and humanitarian contexts in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nepal, and others. Her specific expertise is in gender-based violence prevention and response, summarized by her TEDx talk, WomenDeliver PowerTalk, keynote address for Swedish International Development Agency annual meeting, amongst others.
Lina completed her doctoral work from the London School of Economics and published “Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan: The Politics and Effects of Intervention” based on her research. A second book on this theme is currently underway, to be released in early 2022. Lina speaks and publishes frequently on a range of gender issues, for instance on the need for a feminist response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Arab women and girls. She believes women’s leadership is the strongest vehicle for peace and sustainable development. Lina’s piece I Hate International Women’s Day has resonated with women’s rights activists worldwide. Her work on women in Afghanistan was featured on CNN, leading to a live CNN interview on this topic, as well as appearances on France24, CNN Greece, BBC, and others. On October 11, Lina was featured on Good Morning America for International Day of the Girl.
Lina is a board member of various organizations including SheDecides, Forced Migration Review, Society of Gender Professionals, and others. Lina is among the Gender Equality Top 100 worldwide in 2018 and 2019. She was awarded a Vital Voices fellowship for 2021 for outstanding women leaders. She was recognized by the Women’s Media Center as one of their Progressive Women’s Voices for 2021 and is featured in their database of experts.
Palwasha Hassan is the director of Afghan Women’s Educational Center. She holds a master’s degree in Post-war Recovery Studies from York University, UK and has been former fellow in United States Institute of Peace. She is a dedicated Women’s Rights activist pioneering many critical work for promotion of Women’s rights and civil society in Afghanistan that includes first women legal support organization Roazana, Women and street Children Center, Madadgar Women and Children Safe Home Network, Irfan Cultural Center among others. She is a strong advocate on women peace building and political participation. Palwasha Hassan started her career as volunteer with AWEC while pursuing her school as refugee in Pakistan. As a young women activist she laid the foundation of Afghan Women Network (AWN), a visionary movement of women which up today is playing pivotal role in Women’s right lobby in the country from last twenty years
Jane Ferguson is a Polk, Emmy and DuPont award-winning foreign correspondent for PBS NewsHour, contributor to The New Yorker, and 2020 McGraw Professor of journalism at Princeton University, with over thirteen years of experience living in the Middle East and reporting from the Arab world, Africa and South Asia. Her work focuses on US foreign policy and defense, conflict, diplomacy, and human rights. With an emphasis on in-depth, magazine length broadcasting, Jane’s reporting is characterized by exclusive, ground-breaking access, thoughtful story-telling and character-driven reporting. She is now based in New York City.