Background and Rationale
Women in Afghanistan have struggled to fight for their rights for quite some time now. In 1964, women have had equality with men by the rule of the constitution. However, it is also still today that women’s equality with men is mere de jure. During the Taliban rule in the 1990s, women faced severe oppression and had no room in terms of freedom and civil liberties let alone other forms of liberties. Their right to education and work was taken away, let alone the right to participate in the social and political life of their country. After 2001, the Taliban’s rule was diminished, but women’s oppression was not, Now, more than ever, and with the return of the Taliban in August of 2021, abundant fear and danger circulate the future of the women and girls of Afghanistan. The suffering of Afghanistan’s women was and still is, a continuum of more than 40 years of war crimes and atrocities.
Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) have raised their voices to call for the protection of women in Afghanistan and for demanding their rights. WHRDs and activists are working to make sure that all national and international actors fulfill their duty toward the women of Afghanistan who have little hope for the improvement of their future. WHRDs and activists demand the inclusion of women in peace talks and political decisions to ensure the safety of women and the inclusion of women’s rights in any future decisions that impact the country. Afghanistan has been a victim of countries’ agendas and interests, and its women and people have been given little regard when it comes to deciding their own fate. Hence, it is time that the people and women of Afghanistan take matters into their own hands and write their fate, or better yet, fight for the right to have a bright one. Many Afghan women continue to fight despite the struggle, not losing hope in the cause that they are fighting for. The Asfari Institute in collaboration with FEMENA hopes to give a platform for these activists to raise their voices and connect with young Afghan students at the American University of Beirut.
FEMENA is an organization that supports women’s human rights defenders (WHRD), especially in the MENA region, their notable work with Iranian and Afghan woman activists has affected many women all around the world. FEMENA represented a platform for many women to raise their voices and spread awareness about their cause, or better yet, fight for it.
The Asfari Institute has joined hands with FEMENA to organize a series of events about women in Afghanistan so that young Afghan students at the American University of Beirut could have a safe space to discuss their important issues related to:
- Freedom of women in Afghanistan
- Political engagement of women in Afghanistan
- Future of women after the return of the Taliban
- LGBTQ+ Community and minorities in Afghanistan
- What can be done by the national and international communities to help
- Demands of Afghan women
- Connect AUB Students with afghan activists
- Engage students with work that can equip them with what they need
Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship
American University of Beirut
PO Box 11-0236
Riad El Solh, 1107 2020
Tel: +961-1-350000 EXT. 4469
The Debs Center, 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th floor
New York, NY 10017-2303, USA