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✊ Beyond Victims #2022 - Afghanistan

Our fifth edition of this year’s Beyond Victims Series brings you stories of inspiring women political leaders from Afghanistan.

In August 2021, unfortunate incidents took place in Afghanistan, leading to the Taliban takeover and the country's fall of the civilian government.

For Beyond Victims 2022 edition, we curated the stories of Afghan women political leaders who are working towards political solutions to the crisis from exile.

The efforts of these women leaders have led to UN Security Council's open debate, raising the demand for international monitoring of the current human rights situation in Afghanistan and also ensuring women’s full and equal participation in international humanitarian assistance, peace and governance efforts.

Fawzia Koofi

First Woman Deputy Speaker & Member of Parliament

Fawzia Koofi, who was earlier part of peace negotiations with the Taliban, continues to advocate for human rights on various international platforms. She is working towards building international cooperation, driving the international policy agenda, working with the UN and travelling across member states in Europe and the US to find solutions to the political crisis. She was also a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

– Guardian, Aug 2022

Asila Wardak

Former Minister Counsellor at Afghanistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN

Asila Wardak advocates for women’s inclusion in decision-making and peace-building and stresses the international community to create a platform for women of Afghanistan to talk to the Taliban and find solutions. She also served as the Director General of Human Rights and Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was the first Afghan woman elected as a member of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Human Rights Commission.

– Multiple Sources

Shagufa Noorzai

Former Member of Parliament

Shagufa Noorzai, the youngest MP from the Helmand Province, continues to use her voice to raise concerns about human rights violations, specifically the plight of women. Before moving to Canada, she worked actively to form a network of former Afghan women parliamentarians in exile in Greece. She participates in international discussions and forums, raising international support for women's and girls' rights in Afghanistan.

– CTV News, Jun 2022

Farzana Elham Kochai

Former Member of Parliament

Farzana Elham Kochai represented Kochi nomadic tribes in the Parliament and is currently in Norway, continuing her advocacy for women and girls back home. She is also vocal about how the Ukraine conflict shadowed Afghanistan's issue and has been ensuring the world’s attention to Afghanistan. She is also working towards ensuring members of the Wolesi Jirga (Parliament of Afghanistan) continue their work on behalf of the people of Afghanistan through online meetings in exile.

– CGTN, Mina's List, Her Twitter

Nazifa Bek Yousofi

Former Member of Parliament

A strong politician from Tahkar province who overcame discrimination and violence to get elected, Nazifa Bek Yousofi continues her battle for Afghan people’s rights from Greece. She played a key role in setting up a network of Afghan women parliamentarians in exile to strengthen advocacy and garner international support to pressure the Taliban to give women basic rights like education and freedom of movement.

– Athens Democracy Forum, Aljazeera

Curated by: Rajeshwari Malik

Edited by: Akhil Neelam

Design: Vida Seraphina (

Contributor: Vibhuti Sikand

We would like to thank Teresa Casale, Executive Director of Mina's List, for her support and contributions to this edition.

Thank you for reading Beyond Victims!

This year’s Beyond Victims series will span eight editions, covering stories of inspiring women’s political leadership across South Asia. Get them in your inbox by joining our mailing list.

Women for Politics is an initiative of Centre for Gender And Politics (CGAP).

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