This year will be one of rapid change in Afghanistan, as international military forces continue their withdrawal from the country and Afghans await the final result of Presidential elections. Australia has made an enormous investment in Afghanistan over the past decade, and has a responsibility to ensure that the country achieves a safe and prosperous future. A critical part of this will be ensuring that women’s rights are protected through the security transition. Yet despite some improvements over the past decade in access to education and health, women in Afghanistan continue to face appalling rates of violence and abuse.
As Afghanistan stands at a crossroads, what role should Australia play in promoting and protecting women’s rights?
To discuss this important question, the Oxfam-Monash Partnership and Castan Centre for Human Rights Law invite you to spend an evening with three fascinating leaders who are working to advance women’s protection and rights in Afghanistan.
Col Najibullah Samsour
Chief of Police of District 10 in Kabul
Samsour has over 30 years of experience in the Afghan National Police, and is a strong supporter of human rights, with a Masters in Human Rights from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Throughout his career he has made a strong personal contribution to mentoring Afghan policewomen and supporting their advancement through the ANP, and has made an enormous contribution to increasing the numbers and seniority of policewomen in the districts under his command. Samsour will be speaking about policing and women’s leadership issues in Afghanistan.
Ms Zulaikha Rafiq
Director of the Afghan Women’s Educational Centre (AWEC)
Zulaikha has over 20 years of experience working with national and international organisations in Afghanistan as a women’s rights activist. She has a Masters in English from Delhi University India, and currently works as Director of the Afghan Women’s Educational Centre, which works for the advancement of women’s and children’s rights through advocacy, capacity building, formal and non-formal education, and economic empowerment. Zulaikha will be speaking about the issues of violence against women, women’s roles in peace and reconciliation processes, and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan.
Mr Mohammad Sharif
Policy and Advocacy Officer at Oxfam in Afghanistan
Sharif has an extensive civil society background, and has worked with a range of civil society networks and organisations in Afghanistan. He holds a Masters in International Relations from Pondicherry University in India, and currently manages Oxfam’s national advocacy work on the protection and promotion of women rights, particularly in the context of peace processes and the security sector in Afghanistan. Sharif will be speaking about Oxfam’s programs on human rights and the protection of women’s rights in Afghanistan.
Chair: Jacqui True
Associate Dean of Research (Arts), Monash University
Jacqui is a specialist in gender, development and international relations, with particular research interests in gender mainstreaming and global governance; peace building and conflict; and violence against women. She is also a specialist in feminist research methodologies. Her works on gender mainstreaming and global governance are among the most widely cited in the field, and she is chair of the Australian Political Science Association’s International Relations Standing Committee. She is also a member of the Oxfam-Monash Partnership’s Governance Committee.
Monash Conference Centre
7/30 Collins St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Friday, 16 May 2014 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM (AEST)
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