Webinar on Sustainable Security and Peace for the Human Rights of Girls and Women in Afghanistan

The International Association of Justice Watch, the Iranian NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC, hosted the webinar entitled Ayeh Zandegi, meaning the Mother of Life in Afghan language, to commemorate for the Afghan girls killed in the explosion of Sayyid al-Shuhada High School in Kabul (May 7, 1400).

Webinar on Sustainable Security and Peace for the Human Rights of Girls and Women in Afghanistan

27 Ordibehesht 1400 (17 May 2021)

2-4 p.m., Tehran

The International Association of Justice Watch, the Iranian NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC, hosted the webinar entitled Ayeh Zandegi, meaning the Mother of Life in Afghan language, to commemorate for the Afghan girls killed in the explosion of Sayyid al-Shuhada High School in Kabul (May 7, 1400).

The webinar is held in collaboration with the Islamic Culture and Communications organization the Institute for North American and European Studies, University of Tehran, and the High Council for Human Rights, Judiciary of I.R of Iran.

The speakers included:

Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Lival, Honorable Ambassador of Afghanistan to Iran.

Dr. Ali Bagheri Kani, Secretary of the High Council for Human Rights.

Dr. Fatemeh Ghasempour, Head of the Women's Faction, Islamic Consultative Assembly.

Dr. Zeinab Ghasemi Tari, Head of the Institute for North American and European Studies (INAES), University of Tehran.

Dr. Abdul Hadi Farhang, Former Afghan diplomat in Tehran.

Ms. Toktam Hosseini, Afghan poet.

The main positions and issues raised by these officials and experts are as follows:

  1. Mr. Lival: While condemning the terrorist catastrophes such as the tragedy of Sayyid al-Shuhada High School (AS) and emphasizing the sacrifice of Afghan girls in the context of insecurity, he reaffirmed the importance of establishing lasting security and peace in his country. He stressed that anyone who commits or paves the way for such actions, whether takfiri or terrorist groups, is responsible for such a situation and must be punished. Confirming that the two friendly and brotherly nations of Iran and Afghanistan still need to have more knowledge about each other, he noted that one of the misunderstandings could be the separation of the Taliban from other terrorist groups, which is not the case from Afghanistan's point of view. He appreciated the Islamic Republic of Iran for expressing sympathy with the people of Afghanistan at the governmental and civil levels, as in the current program, and stressed the need for close cooperation in establishing lasting peace and security and empowering girls and women in his country.
  2. Dr. Ghasemi from the University of Tehran spoke about the importance of culturally constructed images and stigmas about the Eastern women and girls, especially in the Western media. He pointed out that the Orientals are dehumanized through the media and other discursive realms by the West, as their victimization is ultimately even worthless to count. Void of any human assets, Afghan women and girls, then, become the targets of mass slaughter with no fact-finding missions or perpetrators’ punishment as its normal in any similar terrorist actions e.g. occurred in the west.
  3. Dr. Bagheri Kani, while offering his condolences to the people of Afghanistan for the martyrdom of these "Martyrs of Knowledge", presented his discussion on several issues: First, he believes that the West Asian region is a region with decades of military and security presence of the United States and its allies such as NATO. This experience well indicates that the "rental security" would merely serve the benefit of the tenant, and the people of the area would remain its victims. The United States and NATO have been in Afghanistan for decades, and their actions have always been rather the anti-security. Even in these recent catastrophic terrorist actions, while condemning any terrorist or takfiri group that perpetrated it, the responsibility of the occupiers should not be overlooked because as they are the one who pave the way for such tragedies. Second, he pointed to the rise of ISIS and its atrocities in Syria and Iraq, emphasizing that the factor of the endogenous security formulated by the Axis of Resistance was the only key to contain and defeat the ISIS even sooner than the time American assumed. To develop the doctrine of the endogenous security, based on the discourse of resistance, is the one and the only way to develop a lasting security and peace in the region, and Afghanistan is no exception. Third, Dr. Bagherikani believes that retrieving a lasting security and peace in Afghanistan is not possible unless reviving the genuine Islam. The United States and its allies have consistently linked petrification and backwardness to Islamic beliefs, while the thoughts and actions of a limited group of superstitious and petrified individuals should not be considered in place of genuine Islam. Afghanistan shall take care not to trap in westernization and cultural metamorphosis in an apologetic approach against such false conceptions. If it does, it would be undoubtedly a step backward not forward.
  4. Dr. Farhang, while pointing to the cultural commonalities and civilizational history of Afghanistan and Iran, discussed the depth of tragedies such as the bombing of a girls' high school and praised the sympathy of the Iranian people and their effective role in the peace process in Afghanistan.
  5. Ms. Taktam Hosseini recited a beautiful poem that described the current sad situation of these students’ families.
  6. Dr. Qasempour, who later joined the webinar, while expressed her deepest sorrows for the recent tragedy, discussed the priority of the Women’s Fraction in Majlis to consolidate cooperation and inter-parliamentary relations with Afghan sisters. He stressed the significance of creating strong networks of Muslim women in parliaments and other categories of empowerment to play a significant role in development from within. She highlighted that the major concern of the Afghan women at parliament would be the reoccurrence of the petrification which is neither popular for Iran in case of peace process there. She believed that the West prescribes its own human rights and identity standards which are not necessarily proper ones accounting for our women’s needs and requirements. She finally aspires for a strong and effective network development among Muslim women for the betterment of their life.

At the end of the webinar, the floor was opened for a quarter for an interactive dialogue and further comments.

 

To view the full webinar, refer to the following link:

 

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