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CSW Side Event: The Situation of Women in Afghanistan

March 9, 2023

This CSW67 High-Level Side Event explored practical pathways forward for inclusive and quality education.

Condemnations, calls for reversal of restrictions and meetings in the Security Council and other fora are important signals of the international community’s commitment to the women and girls of Afghanistan. But more needs to be done to concretely improve the everyday lives of Afghan women and girls, and to ensure their access to education. In the aftermath of the Taliban’s ban on women attending university and women working for national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the international community must keep Afghan women and girls at the centre of its efforts, and urgently find ways to further support their lives and livelihoods, including their education.

This high-level event was hosted by the Permanent Mission of UAE to the UN in partnership with the Women’s Forum for Afghanistan, the Permanent Mission of the UK, UNESCO, UN Women and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. The event provided an overview of the current state of women’s rights in Afghanistan through a dialogue with Afghan women – inside and outside the country – on how the international community, especially the region and Muslim-majority countries, can use tools at their disposal to (1) restore women’s rights and (2) find practical ways to improve the lives of women and girls. Given the priority theme this year, it had a particular focus on education and digital technology.


Featuring: Assistant Minister for Political Affairs and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN H.E. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, UN Women Executive Director Dr. Sima Sami Bahous, Voices from Afghanistan, Director of Gender Equality at UNESCO Maria Begona Lasagabaster, GIWPS Executive Director Ambassador Melanne Verveer, UNESCO Member Hoda Jaberian, CEO and Founder of Ehtesab Sara Wahidi, Steering Committee Member of Women’s Forum on Afghanistan Fawzia Koofi, and Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN James Kariuki.

Moderated by Minister Margot Wallstrom


About the Onward for Afghan women initiative

Onward for Afghan Women is an initiative of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) aimed at elevating and equipping Afghan women leaders with opportunities to continue their advocacy on behalf of Afghan women and girls. For over a decade, GIWPS has stood with Afghan women to advance inclusive peace and ensure their voices are centered in global policy debates. Since the fall of Kabul in August 2021 and the Taliban’s swift rollback of women’s rights, GIWPS has played a leading role in the evacuation and dignified resettlement of prominent at-risk Afghan women leaders.

Onward for Afghan Women honors the leaders that they are and will continue to be.

GIWPS engages in rigorous research, hosts global convenings, and nurtures the next generation of leaders. Housed within Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Institute is headed by the former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer.



Contact the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security by email here.

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