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Why Don’t Afghan Lives Matter? | Opinion – Sanam Naraghi Anderlini (Newsweek)

Why Don’t Afghan Lives Matter? | Opinion – Sanam Naraghi Anderlini (Newsweek)

Afghanistan’s country code is +93. My phone lights up—day and night. I cannot bear to answer, knowing I have no answers. I cannot bear to ignore them. “I hope you are not tired,” they say. “Sorry to bother you,” “Thank you for thinking of us,” and “If they find me, they’ll rip me apart, please take my children.” Their graciousness, dignity, apologies for disturbing our lives, to help save theirs, are humbling and haunting.

I run a nonprofit supporting women’s peacebuilding organizations in 40 conflict-affected countries worldwide. We’ve had Afghan partners for years. They dedicate their lives to caring for their communities, running shelters for violence survivors, training women police officers, documenting the failures of the allied efforts for the security sector, advocating for rights and justice and setting up networks of men to prevent violence. Their reach extends nationwide.

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International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) Statement on Afghanistan

International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) Statement on Afghanistan

We called for the international community to listen to Afghan women peacebuilders.

Our partners risked their own lives to speak at the United Nations, the European Union, the International Criminal Court, in the United States, and elsewhere. They warned of the reality in the Afghan forces, informed the world of needs on the ground, and offered recommendations and practical actions. They repeatedly asked for the chance to negotiate their own fate at the peace tables in Doha and elsewhere. They were never granted such an opportunity. Rather, they were willfully ignored and excluded.

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ICAN Key Reports

ICAN in the News

Sanam Naraghi Anderlini Interview on the Situation in Afghanistan (WRHU-FM)

With Danny DeCrescenzo and Annemarie LePard; August, 17 2021

Taliban says it will be more tolerant toward women. Some fear otherwise. (Washington Post)

By Sammy Westfall and Claire Parker; August, 17 2021

 Our Mission

ICAN promotes inclusive and sustainable peace in countries affected by violent conflict, extremism, militarism, and closing political space.  Recognizing the gendered impact of conflict and the critical role of women peacebuilders, we fulfill our mission through a dual strategy of:

  • Shaping and influencing the peace and security policies of governments, multilateral organizations, and the wider international community by providing thought leadership, strategic advice, and gender-responsive analysis and operational guidance; and
  • Sustaining and strengthening a global movement of innovative locally rooted women peacebuilders to have voice and influence wherever matters of peace, violent conflict, rights, and human security are determined.

We bring the word and spirit of  UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the global women, peace and security agenda to life.

“I truly believe that a small group, like ICAN, of very committed women, can get the message across that there is not going to be a sustainable solution to extremism without including women”

– Senator Mobina Jaffer

“ICAN has one agenda, and it is Peace.”

– Sri Lankan woman peacebuilder

“ICAN provides a safe open space and a healthy environment for discussions that will bring about the needed change.”

– Palestinian woman peacebuilder

“Through ICAN, our work reached international platforms for the first time, including the UN.”

– Iraqi woman peacebuilder

“ICAN brings together women that have worked with extremist groups and within very violent conflicts. I share and learn new strategies from them.”

– Ugandan woman peacebuilder

The diversity I found in ICAN helps me and nurtures my experience and enables me to go forward”

– Tunisian women peacebuilder

“ICAN helps us learn new strategies through sharing experiences with other women from different countries”

– Somali woman peacebuilder

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