Alumnae Speak on Two Panels at Feminist Majority Foundation Leadership Conference

L to R - Marzia Nawrozi (Meredith College 2013), Maryam Laly, Mary Shuaib, Wadia Samadi (University of Richmond 2010), and Carmen Rios, Ms. Magazine

Three alumnae of The Initiative spoke on two panels discussing women's and girls’ activism and empowerment.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 17 - 19, 2018 - Three alumnae of The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women presented on two panels at the 14th Annual National Young Feminist Leadership Conference of the Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. Magazine. The annual conference provides young activists from around the world with opportunities to network, grow their knowledge on pertinent domestic and global feminist issues, and fine-tune their organizing methodology.

Marzia Nawrozi (Meredith College 2013), Feminist Majority Foundation’s Advocate for Afghan Women and Girls, organized and moderated both panel discussions, which featured Wadia Samadi (University of Richmond 2010), co-founder of Wadsam Afghan Business News, and Nadia Sakhi (Roger Williams 2010), recently of USAID | Afghanistan and Development Alternative.

The first panel, entitled, “Storytelling in Activism” discussed ways in which storytelling and feminist reporting can fuel the social justice victories that make history. During the panel, Wadia Samadi (University of Richmond 2010) talked about her online business news portal,, and how it is empowering Afghan women. Other panelists included Maryam Laly and Mary Shuaib of Free Women Writers as well as Carmen Rios, Digital Editor of Ms. Magazine.

The second panel, entitled, “Empowering Afghan Women and Girls” examined the considerable yet fragile progress made by Afghan women and girls in education, health care and employment since the fall of the Taliban as well as what remains left to achieve and how feminists everywhere can support Afghan women and girls to bolster their progress. Nadia Sakhi (Roger Williams 2010) spoke about how The Initiative To Educate Afghan Women helped her achieve her education and how she used that education to help women and children in Afghanistan. Other panelists included Dr. Sima Samar, Chairperson, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and Noorjahan Akbar, Advocate and Author.

Other issues covered during the three-day conference included reproductive justice, eco-feminism, intersectionality and identity-based activism, campus organizing tactics and methods, violence against women, ballot measures and political organizing, social media and web-based activism, and global women’s rights and health. The conference concluded on day three with a trip to the National Mall for a Congressional Visit Day.

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