The New Generation of Afghan Women Leaders – Perspectives from Kabul and the International Community

U.S-Afghan Women’s Council, Embassy of Afghanistan and Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C. celebrate International Women’s Day with discussion on the new generation of Afghan women leaders

March 8, 2018

The Embassy of Afghanistan partnered with the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. and the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council to facilitate a discussion to celebrate International Women’s Day about the new generation of Afghan women leaders from the perspectives of the government of Afghanistan and the International Community.

Ambassador of Finland to the United States, Kirsti Kauppi welcomed guests to the Embassy of Finland to participate in an important discussion moderated by spouse of the Ambassador, Lael Mohib, on the status of women’s rights in Afghanistan with Her Excellency Adela Raz, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, and Anne Meskanen, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and Gender Equality at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Afghan Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Hamdullah Mohib and Vice-Chair of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, Dr. Phyllis Magrab also delivered remarks about the importance of women’s empowerment not only in Afghanistan, but all over the world. 

Deputy Minister Raz and Ambassador Meskanen provided important insight on the status of women’s empowerment and the role that young women leaders are playing in government, civil society, and business in Afghanistan today. Deputy Minister Raz said, “Afghan women are a stronger voice within the institutions themselves. It is reflected in the government’s decision making processes and its policies.”

They also spoke about specific issues Afghan women face, such as violence against women. Deputy Minister Raz said, “In ending violence against women, the change starts from acknowledging the problem still exists. Women increasingly raise their voices on the topic.” Ambassador Meskanen offered her view from the perspective of an international partner on how the younger generation can help improve violence against women and girls and ensure women’s economic and social rights. She said, “Despite hardships, Afghan women have taken on remarkable positions in all fields of society, ranging from politics and media to sports.” 

The event also featured an exhibition of photographs, Voices on the Rise: Afghan Women Making the Newswhich shows Afghan women who are working to change their society in every sector in Afghanistan.