In Her Own Words

Mary Akrami, Afghanistan

“Afghan women have been resolving chronic conflicts and disputes at the community level. They’ve been playing a key role in national development and are not given their due share.”

Mary Akrami is the Executive Director of the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN), a WPHF partner in Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan is one of the hardest places for women to live. A large number of Afghan women experience violence. The women and men who raise their voices against these injustices and defend women’s human rights risk their lives.”

AWN is an umbrella of women’s organizations working for women’s empowerment. Its mission is to empower its members through cooperation, awareness-raising, and the development of an effective civil society movement to create positive change.

“The AWN network of women’s organizations is reinforcing its ongoing efforts for women’s participation in peace processes and doing strong advocacy at national and international levels to increase the number of women in the negotiation team.”

Mary’s work as Executive Director of AWN draws on a background of advocacy for women and girls’ rights.

“Achievements have been made in terms of women’s physical presence in this very important deal, but the objective to make their participation meaningful is yet to be achieved fully.”

Mary’s leadership at AWN has played a vital role in ensuring women’s perspectives and priorities inform peace in Afghanistan. Her experience shows what can be achieved when women come together to demand that their rights, needs and experiences inform political processes.

“Women are custodians of Afghan families and communities, and will play a key role in reaching a long-lasting peace deal if given the opportunity to fully participate.”