In this session we want to take a closer look at the latest development in the struggle for women’s rights in Afghanistan and the region.

After the Taliban takeover women’s rights have dramatically worsened. Women are more and more invisible in public space. They are ordered to cover their faces, prohibited from travelling alone or taking taxis without a male companion and told not to leave home unless necessary. Girls above the age of 12 are deprived of education and women are banned from most jobs in the public sector. The space for freedom of expression is constantly being restricted and civil society is subject to strict control.

At the same time, we see a persistent movement for women’s rights in Afghanistan and in the neighbouring country Iran, as a response to long term oppression and as an immediate reaction to violent attacks where women have been injured and killed. The protests have spread rapidly through social media and resulted in demonstrations in many countries, led by human rights activists in the diaspora.

The session will be organized as a public dialogue, a method for exploratory conversation with space to share experiences, thoughts, and ideas without arguing. Rather than commenting on what others say, questions are encouraged. In this way, the conversation is dynamically developed with a facilitator who makes sure that everyone who wants gets time and space to share.

Facilitators: Norunn Grande and Hasina Shirzad

Participants on stage: Horia Mosadic, Nora Ingdal and Roxanne Sharpour