Amina Afzali Safi – Afghanistan

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Peace is the environment of trust and confidence that people need in life”.

Together with the European Women’s Lobby, Equality Now, the Center for Strategic Initiatives of Women, and the Feminist Majority, V-Day served as one of the Co-conveners of the Afghan Women’s Summit held in Brussels in December 2001. The Summit provided a forum for Afghan women in the Diaspora from all areas of the world, including Pakistan, Iran, the Central Asian Republics, the United States, Canada and Europe and from different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and also Afghan women from within Afghanistan. Afghan women leaders from around the world gathered to create a working dialogue on the role of women in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Hosted in Brussels, December 4-5 at the European Commission, the prime focus of the Summit was to introduce the voices of Afghan women into the current international political discourse with officials from the European Union, United Nations, and women’s rights activists from around the world, including the three women delegates to the concurrent Bonn meeting: Seddighe Balkhi, leader of the Afghan Women’s Political and Cultural Activities Center in Iran, Northern Alliance representative Amina Afzali, an Iran-based activist, and Sima Wali, president and CEO of Refugee Women in Development and coordinator for the Afghan Women’s Summit. (full text).

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Amina Afzali Safi – Afghanistan

Amina Safi Afzali was born in Herat where she completed her early education. She subsequently attended the Kabul University where she obtained a BSc from the Faculty of Sciences.

For 23 years, she has been advocating women and human rights. She has also taught at the Faculty of Science, Kabul University. After the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Afzali fled to Iran. Her husband, who was part of the resistance movement, was killed by the Russians.

While living in Iran she managed to set up several courses to educate the Afghani refugee girls who dropped from the Iranian schools. She has also run courses in computer sciences and English language skills among many others. Thanks to Afzali’s efforts, Afghani women’s athletic teams could get training in Iran and were later dispatch to the OIC games in South Korea.

The majority of the beneficiaries of Afzali’s projects are unfortunate women in Iran, specially the Afghani refugee girls. As part of her activities, she represented Afghani women in Beijing International Conference as head of the delegation. She has also traveled extensively worldwide to promote and participate in peace talks in several countries. Afzali was a member of the Bonn peace talks on Afghanistan and she was a signatory of the resulting Peace Accord. She served as a member of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and has recently been appointed as Minister for Youth Affairs. (1000peacewomen).

Senior member of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, Mrs. Weeda Mansoor has predicted that the withdrawal of Taliban from the scene of Afghanistan would repeat the history of human rights violations took place at the time of withdrawal of former Soviet Union troops and resignation of Dr.Najibullah. The Bonn Conference has failed to give due representation to Afghan women as both Seema Samar and Amina Afzali have a criminal record of their past, she alleged.

She expressed these views in a press conference here on Monday, saying that although Taliban have gone for ever but the new governors of difference cities/states have criminal record and some reports indicate that they would not hesitate in repeating their past history. (full text).

The statement said Amina Afzali is a veteran of the Communist Parchami Party which collaborated with the Soviet occupation, and later joined Northern Alliance boss Burhanuddin Rabbani’s Jamiat-i-Islami organization.

The Times of India reported Jan. 1 that women in Kabul who heeded Afzali’s radio appeal to shed their burqas faced harassment and humiliation. Even Deba Usefzai, an official in the new education ministry, said, “Everyone was pointing at me and staring at me. Some men began pushing me while I was waiting for a bus… I felt really scared.” She has returned to wearing her burqa. (full text).

Find her articles on Zoom-info.

The Youth Affairs Ministry was created to address the issues and problems confronted by Afghan youth who have lived through years of war. This new ministry will be led by Amina Afzali, a woman who also participated in the Bonn Conference in December 2001. Afzai served on the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the commission that drafted the new Afghan constitution. Both Balkhi and Afzali participated in the Afghan Women?s Summit for Democracy convened in Brussels in December 2001 by Western feminist organizations including Equality Now, the European Women?s Lobby, V-Day and the Feminist Majority Foundation. (full text).

Amina a vécu à Mashad dans le nord de l’Iran. Avec ses quatre enfants – trois filles et un garçon – elle est retournée à Kaboul en 1992 après le départ des Soviétiques. La prise de la capitale afghane en septembre 1996 par les taliban l’obligea à reprendre le chemin de l’exil. À Mashad, elle fonda le Mouvement islamique des femmes afghanes, organisation destinée à défendre les droits des Afghanes et à promouvoir la justice sociale. Elle a également fondé le centre culturel Djami.

Amina Safi Afzali fut également très active sur le plan politique durant cette période. Elle participa notamment à la Conférence de Rome et à celle de Bonn en décembre 2001 en tant que déléguée du Front uni. Puis, elle fut élue pour siéger à la Loya Jirga d’urgence de juin 2002. Nommée membre de la Commission indépendante des droits de l’Homme, elle a rejoint le gouvernement Karzaï en mai 2004 en tant que ministre-conseillère à la Jeunesse. (full text).

links:

Women’s Rights on Human Rights Watch HRW;

Afghanistan local media review;

The Karzai Government Administration 2004 – 2006 (with Amina Afzali Safi for youth);

WOMEN AND PEACE AND SECURITY: THE IMPLEMENTATION OF U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1325;

DUKE Journal of Gender Law & Policy;

where are the women;

Afghanistan’s Government composition;

Afghanistan: The woman who wants to be Afghan president.

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