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UN Commission on the Status of Women Event

March 15, 2023 @ 10:00 am UTC-5

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, together with Human Rights Watch and Women Living Under Muslim Laws invite you to:


Gender Persecution in Afghanistan’s Education Crisis: proposing innovative responses from a human rights-based approach

With opening remarks from Farida Shaheed

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education

A Parallel Session to the 67th

UN Commission on the Status of Women

Priority theme:

Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls


Live Virtual Event

Wednesday March 15th, 2023 10 AM ET/4 PM CET/6:30 PM Kabul

via Zoom Link

Join us for this vital discussion looking at the complexities of Afghanistan’s deepening education crisis from a human rights perspective. Our session will address education as it links to the country’s wider humanitarian emergency and the erasure of women and girls from public life, which has led to the forced displacement of millions. Speakers will propose solutions and share advocacy that can protect the right to learn and enhance access to safe, inclusive and quality education for all, through digital innovation, regional collaboration, and humanitarian services.


Register Here


Speaker Bios

Farida Shaheed

Ms. Farida Shaheed, from Pakistan, was appointed Special Rapporteur on the right to education in 2022. She is the Executive Director of Pakistan’s leading gender justice organization, Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre. She is also an independent expert/consultant to numerous U.N., international and bi-lateral development agencies, the government of Pakistan, as well as civil society initiatives, and serves on multiple international and national advisory committees. She served as a member of Pakistan’s National Commission on the Status of Women, and as the first Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights

Emily Regan Wills

Emily Regan Wills is an associate professor of comparative politics in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa.  She co-directs the Community Mobilization in Crisis project, a member of the UNHCR-facilitated Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium, which develops and implements blended learning opportunities for refugee and host communities globally.  Outside of work, she is active in LGBTQ+ refugee resettlement in Ottawa.

Sahar Fetrat

Sahar is an Assistant Researcher with the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. Sahar is a feminist activist born in Afghanistan, lived in Iran and Pakistan as a young refugee during the first Taliban regime. In 2013, Sahar’s documentary on street harassment,

“Do Not Trust My Silence,” won the first prize in Universo-Corto Elba Film Festival. Sahar has previously worked with the education unit of UNESCO in Afghanistan, advocating for literacy education for women around the country. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University of Afghanistan (2018) and a Master’s degree in Critical Gender Studies from Central European University (2020). She is currently completing her second Master’s degree in Conflict, Security, and Development at the War Studies department of King’s College London. Sahar’s research interests include feminist decolonial theory and praxis, affect theory, gender and conflict, women and/in war, and masculinities

Sveto Muhammad Ishoq

“Sveto Muhammad Ishoq is a women’s rights activist, TEDx Speaker, and social entrepreneur from Afghanistan. She started her activism at the age of 14 by authoring publications on women’s rights in Afghanistan. Sveto is the founder of Chadari, an Afghan women’s rights organization that supports Afghan women through awareness raising, community-building, and storytelling. Since the collapse of Afghanistan, the main focus of Chadari is now to raise awareness about the current situation of Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and amplifying the voices of Afghan women. Her work has been highlighted by the UK House of Commons, UNHCR, BBC, Daily Express and more. “

Nick Sabato

Nick Sabato, Senior Director of Education for Humanity at Arizona State University, leads ASU’s efforts in extending educational access to refugees and communities affected by displacement around the world. He serves as ASU’s representative as co-lead of the Connected Learning in Crisis Consortium alongside the UNHCR in developing collaborative programs that prepare refugee learners to meet their educational ambitions. His educational background includes an MA in International Relations from American University’s School of International Service and a BS in Psychology from Miami University (OH).

Hena Takal

Hena is an Afghan teacher and student, and member of Women Livingunder Muslim Laws. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies. As an educator and a student, she is committed to peace and human rights and views education as an integral part of building long-lasting peace and economic prosperity. She believes a commitment to an educated society is essential in ensuring that Afghan civil society progresses toward equality and overcomes social division and economic problems. She is most alarmed that the Taliban regime’s ban on education, a fundamental human right for every child and adult, along with the introduction of restrictions on women’s economic and mobility, has pushed Afghanistan on the brinks of dangerous gender apartheid and repression with severe implication for Afghanistan and the region’s peace and political stability.

Lauryn Oates

Lauryn Oates is the Executive Director of CW4WAfghan, having worked in various leadership roles with the organization, including as the Programs Director before becoming Executive Director in 2018. She holds a BA Honours in International Development from McGill University, an MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University, and a PhD in Language and Literacy Education from the University of British Columbia. She has worked with a variety of development organizations, multilateral agencies and governments designing, planning, evaluating or implementing programming in education and in gender equality, particularly in war-affected countries. She is the recipient of several awards and distinctions, including a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She believes passionately in the power of education to transform individuals who in turn transform their societies.


Register Here



March 15, 2023
10:00 am UTC-5