Saturday, May 21, 2011

Afghanistan: Leaders Meet to Help Women of Afghanistan

SOURCE Afghan Trusted Network

Yesterday the Afghan Trusted Network and Pepperdine University co-hosted the 2011 Afghan Symposium for Humanitarian and Leadership Engagement attended by NGO, government and private sector leaders currently engaged in supporting Afghanistan to highlight best practices and recommendations for women helping women, mothers and children in Afghanistan. The Afghan Trusted Network's commitment to empowering women in Afghanistan is steadfast while leaders worry that the US will ratchet down its assistance.

Afghan Trusted Network Director, Ms. Rosalie J. Wyatt, proposed an initiative in collaboration with League for Hope and other partners, the Women's Trust, to empower women in Afghanistan through a process and guidelines for local initiatives that leverage local solutions and norms to serve as a catalyst for changing the culture to view women as valued partners throughout society. The proposed Afghan Women's Trust is an example of a new approach that Honorary Chairman Mrs. Doris Buffett challenged the Afghan Trusted Network to produce; "As daunting as this may be, women of the world must think big, act boldly and work together to leverage assets and combine every small victory into a scalable template for others to use; a template that is adaptable to existing programs, and that rewards enterprise while embracing tradition and promotes a new paradigm of the economic, cultural and social importance of women and children to the future of Afghanistan." A follow-up meeting will take place in Washington, DC to further develop the initiative.

U.S. Department of State Office of Global Women's Issues' Sr. South Asia Specialist and Violence Against Women Advisor Ms. Saba Ghori and the Afghan Embassy's General Counselor Mrs. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel delivered opening remarks and Hon. Paula J. Dobriansky, Former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy provided closing remarks.

The 2011 Afghan Symposium Co-Hosts include Fatema Laya Bayat (Bayat Foundation); Caroline Firestone (New Hudson Foundation); 2011 Afghan Trusted Network Co-Chairs Jessica Kruvant (Creative Associates International); Diana Rowan Rockefeller (Afghan Women Leaders Connect); Qasim Tarin (Afghan Business Network); and Charter Member Co-Chairs Hon. David Aufhauser (Williams & Connolly); Jeb Carney (League for Hope); and Ajmal Ghani A. (Afghan Sports Federation).

The Afghan Trusted Network was launched in 2009 under the leadership of the Bayat Foundation and is supported and powered daily by League for Hope and NC4 Corporation. Members of the Afghan Trusted Network communicate through a secure portal and through symposia to exchange ideas, foster new initiatives, avoid redundancy and launch pilot projects to increase the quality of life and livelihoods for the people of Afghanistan.

The symposium was followed by a reception at the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted by H.E. Eklil Hakimi, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the U. S. and Mrs. Sultana Hakimi, and co-hosted by Hon. Ehsan Bayat, Permanent Chairman of the Afghan Trusted Network and Chairman of the Bayat Foundation and Mrs. Fatema Laya Bayat.