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Grassroots Civil Society in Afghanistan: challenges, opportunities, and road ahead
A vibrant civil society was considered one of the key achievements of the international community and the previous governments of Afghanistan during the past 20 years. Nearly 3,000 NGOs, countless community-level associations, informal councils of elders, and grassroots volunteer groups were formed to protect human rights and promote social reform and equality. Following the return of the Taliban to power, civic space in the country has rapidly deteriorated and formal civil society structures have collapsed.

Despite very challenging and hostile conditions, numerous grassroots organizations, civil society movements, and women-led groups have formed in the last year to counter the oppressive Taliban regime by tirelessly advocating for human rights. However, in the face of the Taliban’s constant attacks on civil society, the lack of financial resources, and other operational obstacles these grassroots movements find it challenging to sustain their work.

In this conversation, we bring activists from inside Afghanistan to discuss their work and the challenges they face. We are opening the conversation to stakeholders in the international community to identify opportunities and areas of support.

Moderator:
Azadah Raz Mohammad, Ph.D. Candidate, Melbourne Law School; and Human Rights Lawyer

Panelists:
Fatema Ahmadi- Civil Society Leader from Diaspora
Farah Mostafawi- Woman Human Rights Defender
Munisa Mubarez- Women’s Rights Activist and Protester
Melissa Upreti Human Rights Lawyer & Feminist, Nurturer, Chair-Rapporteur, UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls.
Richard Bennett- UN Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan
Shamayel Tawana- Woman Human Rights Defender

Sep 30, 2022 07:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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