News and Updates
The Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth (WMC) authored this letter to female heads of state on behalf of Afghan colleagues and sisters. The letter requests meetings with political leaders to ensure the protection of Afghan women, specifically with regard to issuing visas for resettlement, safeguarding human rights within country, upholding measures against forced marriage, and the inclusion of Afghan women in dialogue with the Taliban and the delivery of gender-responsive humanitarian aid.
The Feminist Action for Afghanistan (FAA) in which ICAN participates is sending this letter to States, the UN agencies, and INGOs to keep the focus on the priority needs for Afghanistan and to ensure that Afghan women are absolutely present and shaping policy in these critical areas of concern.
Several months have passed since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Though global media attention is dying down, the crisis continues and the risk faced by our partners increases with each passing day as the Taliban ramps up violence against Afghan civil society.
Following the fall of Kabul, we formed the Afghan Solidarity Coalition with a small band of NGOs, academics and others. Together, we are working to get our Afghan colleagues and families, around 2,000 in total, to safety.
On Giving Tuesday, please support our Afghanistan Emergency Relief Fund. See how your money can help save lives and futures and re-share to spread the word.
The crisis in Afghanistan has forced many of us to reckon with the failures of the C/PVE agenda, as well as with the lack of will of the international community to protect the human rights of the women peacebuilders who have been asked to support it.
What is the meaning of counterterrorism when the world has collectively abandoned a country and its people to be governed by a terrorist organization? How can states speak of gender-sensitive P/CVE or of the importance of women, peace, and security, when they have left Afghan women to their fate? To engage in a conversation on these questions and more, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, joined the weekly WASL call on September 23, 2021. Click to read a summary of the call.
“Those of us who live in peace take it for granted – it’s the invisible canvass upon which we paint and live our lives,” said Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE in her opening remarks for the annual 2021 Queen’s Lecture. “When we put ourselves in the shoes of others – see them as we see ourselves, – we are all the same – regardless of our culture or accident of geography.”
The annual lecture was founded by HM Queen Elizabeth II as a gift to the City of Berlin on the occasion of her state visit in 1965. Each year, a renowned British scientist delivers a lecture on their area of expertise. The Queen’s Lecture is a collaboration between Technical University Berlin, the British Embassy in Germany, and the British Council in Germany.
The ICAN team seek an Accounting and Administrative Assistant to work remotely, part-time to provide support to ICAN’s Finance Director, Operations Officer, and the whole ICAN team. Please send your resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
ICAN, with the support of Global Affairs Canada, has developed a set of “Case Studies on the Role of Gender and Identity in Shaping Positive Alternatives to Extremisms,” in Somalia, Sweden, the United States, and Indonesia.
The case studies demonstrate how conducting a Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) improves understanding of the drivers, narratives and roles that engender extremisms and violent extremist activity. By profiling examples of peacebuilding, deradicalization, reintegration and counternarrative work in four contexts, the case studies emphasize how attention to gender and intersectional identities can improve the effectiveness of interventions to transform extremisms – not only by preventing or countering it, but by providing positive alternatives that enable people to realize a peaceful, pluralistic future.
The international community needs to take urgent action to ensure Afghan women and girls across all ethnic and religious communities, in urban and rural areas, feel safe and have equal rights and opportunities to a life of dignity, peace, safety and justice.
To achieve this overarching goal, and to ensure that there is no regression in the context of the impending humanitarian crisis, we have stated four key outcomes and offered specific actions by international actors and specific actions by the Taliban.
Given the gendered segregation of society that the Taliban has already instigated, the delivery of aid to women and girls will be even more highly dependent on female Afghan aid workers and local women-led civil society organizations (CSOs). Such organizations have traditionally been the key conduits to reaching the most needy and marginalized sectors of society. They are more essential now.
We have offered 10 practical steps that the UN and other international humanitarian actors can take in designing and implementing their humanitarian response.
We are a coalition of NGOs, academics, activists, women’s rights defenders, journalists, artists, filmmakers and peacebuilders. We are working to get our Afghan colleagues and families, who are under direct threat from the Taliban, to safety. They have worked to bring peace to Afghanistan over the last 20 years, have fought for the rights of all Afghans, and especially women, girls and minority groups in direct opposition to the Taliban. They now come to us for help because nobody came for them.
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.
A female journalist receives a call warning that they “will come soon.” A woman lawmaker sits and waits for her killers. A little girl wonders how much longer her school gates will remain open.
For Afghanistan’s women and girls, this is the terrifying uncertainty they now find themselves in.
As Taliban leaders tell international media they “don’t want women to be victimized,” a more sinister reality is unfolding on the ground.
Talking to Sheena McKenzie at CNN about what the Taliban takeover could mean for women and girls in Afghanistan, ICAN’s founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, warns: “Once the diplomats leave, the journalists leave, the international NGOs leave, they are going to basically lock the doors… God knows what we’ll see then.”
ICAN Founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, speaks to Danny DeCrescenzo and Annemarie LePard for WRHU-FM Hofstra University Radio on the current crisis situation in 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.
In a historic moment on 29th July 2021, the date of Africa Women’s Day, Cameroon’s first ever Women’s National Convention for Peace got underway in the country’s capital, Yaoundé. For three days over 1000 women from all corners of the country came together at the Palais des Congrès, Yaoundé to raise their voices in unison, demanding an end to violence and calling for peace.
“We have come together as mothers and grandmothers, wives and companions, sisters and daughters – together, we build an alliance of good will that is stronger, louder and in greater numbers than those people who profit from war and conflicts.” – Women’s Call for Peace