The role of Iranian women as agents of social change has come to the forefront with recent protests in the country. Journalist Golineh Atai highlights the need to rethink old frameworks about Iran and support these women. Meanwhile, former Acting Minister of Women Affairs in Afghanistan, Hasina Safi, reflects on the progress made by Afghan women over the past 20 years and the impact of the fall of freedom and democracy in 2021.
At the Global Female Leaders Summit 2023, we will discuss these issues in depth. Get a sneak peek in this article.
Iran: Women at the forefront of social change
Pre-Summit Keynote – Sunday 23th April 2023
“The risks posed by the Iranian system have thus far been underestimated. Exogenous regulation of the regime is required to defend the Iranian people. The deafening silence of Europe must be broken.”
Golineh Atai criticizes while also concretizing. She clarifies and stirs things up. Look forward to meeting a courageous and moral female leader.
Golineh Atai is bureau chief of ZDF German TV´s Middle East Office in Cairo. Her coverage area spans the MENA region – from Libya, Syria and Iraq to the Gulf monarchies. She studied Roman Languages, Political Sciences and Iranian Studies, and has been positioned as a TV correspondent in the Middle East as well as in Russia and Ukraine, where she covered the Maidan uprising and Crimea´s annexation. Atai has been awarded for her news coverage and her focus on Russia´s disinformation war. As an expert for Iran´s civil society and author of the book “Iran – Freedom is female” she has been a frequent guest in TV and radio shows. Her book provides insight into the lives of Iranian women who have been fighting for their personal rights, chronicling over 40 years of regime control of Iranian society through control of the feminine body.
With the nationwide uprising that happened after the violent death of a young Kurdish girl – Jina Mahsa Amini – the hitherto unseen leading role of Iranian women as a factor of social change has been highlighted. The information vacuum that characterized Iran headlines for decades has been filled with countless videos and photos of courageous and rebellious women. I am often being asked: What exactly are we witnessing? Are we mere bystanders – or is there a way to assist these women? And did the protests have any long-term consequences at all? In my presentation I will explain what being a woman in Iran means and what moral and ideological changes the society is undergoing. I invite you to think outside the box, to question old frameworks about Iran that accompanied us for too long – and to dare to imagine a new Middle East.
Afghanistan: Undefeated Loser
Fireside Chat – Monday 24th April 2023
Hasina Safi is a professional leader, well known civil society & women rights activist. Hasina Safi is an expert with considerable and proven experience of over 20 years in development practices focused on organizational development, development of policies & programs, women economic empowerment, capacity building, advocacy for women’s rights, civil society, peace building and human rights.
She started her first formal struggle at the age of 15 teaching English as a second language to Afghan Refugee women. During the past two decades she has worked in different national and international organizations at the leadership levels i.e. International Rescue Committee, Danish Committee for Aide to Afghan Refugees, International Organization on Migration, Afghan Women’s Educational Center, United Nations Development Program, Afghan Women’s Network, High Peace Council, member of peace negotiation team(2018),Acting minister of information and culture Islamic republic of Afghanistan and lastly serving as Acting minister of women affairs Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Afghan Women: Struggle- Development- Progress & Consistency (Grassroots to policy)
Women’s movement goes back much further. We call the last 20 years, specifically the last seven years, the golden times for women from policy to grassroot levels. It was never without challenges, women made their best efforts to benefit women and girls.
In early 2000, Afghan women reassembled inside and outside Afghanistan, keeping the legal documents nationally and internationally as their legitimate bases to contribute towards development and progress, where Afghan Constitution, as the mother national document was the bases. As it had clearly, defined the position of women as a respected citizens in all sectors socially, economically, culturally, and politically. Based on that Afghanistan, as a nation, had accountability towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. Afghanistan ratified CEDAW without any reservation, United Nation Security Council resolution 1325, adopted the Beijing Platform for action and supported the Human Rights Declaration. These were the commitments made by Afghanistan and the international community to support the women. Assessing, analyzing, strategizing, planning, implementation from short-term projects to long-term national programs, which brought life in the women’s lives more specifically female headed households and widows, which I believe is leadership to lead their lives self-sufficiently. THE FALL of freedom and democracy happened in August 2021, which reflected all the progress and development like a sand house, not for only for women, but also form all men and women who struggled for freedom and democracy more specifically targeting women leader from their homes(rooms)to their participation.