Women in Afghanistan: Prospects for 2014
The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will co-sponsor a lecture and discussion, "Women in Afghanistan: Prospects for 2014," on Friday, September 13, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at the United Nations in New York, North Lawn Building (CR6). The featured speaker will be Manizha Naderi, Executive Director of Women for Afghan Women. The event is part of a series of lectures and panels on the UN's Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, organized by LISD's Program on Women in the Global Community, the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, and the PeaceWomen Project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. To attend the event, RSVP to the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the UN.
The event will be webcast live and available for later viewing on UN Web TV.
The implementation of the UN’s Women, Peace, and Security agenda on the ground is in many respects lagging far behind its ambitious conceptual framework. Case in point is the situation of women in Afghanistan which remains highly insecure, and many fear, will only become more difficult with the coming international military drawdown in 2014. On the protection side, attacks, intimidation, and sexual violence against women and girls—including abduction, rape, and trafficking—are widespread. On the participation side, the representation and active participation of women in political processes remain limited. There is moreover an acute risk that women will effectively be excluded from peace talks with the Taliban, with the result that the fragile rights women have gained in Afghanistan since 2002 will be negotiated away in a formal peace process in which they have no substantive voice. With more than a decade of experience confronting these challenges on the ground, Naderi will offer her thoughts on the potential impacts of the troop drawdown and negotiations with the Taliban for women in Afghanistan, and the importance of civil society groups such as Women for Afghan Women in protecting women on a day-to-day basis.
Manizha Naderi was born in Kabul and raised in New York. She joined Women for Afghan Women (WAW) in 2002 as the director of the organization’s Community Outreach Program. In 2006, she moved permanently to Kabul to direct WAW’s work in Afghanistan. There she created groundbreaking projects, including the Family Guidance Center, which offers counseling and mediation to families in crisis and to women and girls who are experiencing domestic violence, forced and underage marriages, rape, sex trafficking, and other gross violations of their human rights. Women for Afghan Women now operates 8 Family Guidance Centers in 8 Provinces and has helped some 7,000 women since 2007, including Bibi Aisha who famously appeared on the cover of Time in 2010 after the attack that mutilated her face.
As part of Women for Afghan Women's work, Naderi has also opened 7 shelters for women and girls who could not return home because of threats of violence, initiated literacy and vocational training classes to help women earn a living and achieve financial independence, and started 3 Children Support Centers for children who were residing with their mothers in prison. Over two hunderd children are now living and receiving an education at WAW’s Children Support Centers. Naderi is currently working to expand the Centers to other provinces in Afghanistan.