Nilofar Sakhi

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Nilofar Sakhi
Born نيلوفر سخی
Herat, Afghanistan
Nationality Afghan
Education MA in conflict transformation, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA
Occupation Executive Director, International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development
Known for Co-founded Women Activities and Social Services Association (WASSA)
Religion Muslim
Awards Fulbright Scholarship

Nilofar Sakhi (Persian: ‎نيلوفر سخی) is an Afghan peace, human rights, and women's rights activist. She is the chief executive and executive director of the International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development (ICAWED) at the American University of Afghanistan. She is also the co-founder and former executive director of Women Activities and Social Services Association (WASSA), the first women's NGO in Herat, Afghanistan.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Nilofar Sakhi was born in Herat, Afghanistan. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University where she received her M.A. in Conflict Transformation in 2007. [1] She also holds a M.A. in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at George Mason University.

Career[edit]

Nilofar Sakhi began her career as a political education officer in Aurat Foundation, a national NGO in Pakistan. Sakhi is the founder and former executive director of Women Activities and Social Services Association (WASSA), the first women's NGO in Herat, Afghanistan founded in 2002. While there she established the Center for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at WASSA in 2008. Sakhi remains the chairperson of the board at WASSA. [2] She is the former country director of Open Society Afghanistan (OSA) which was founded in 2008. [3] Prior to serving as country director she was the Senior Consultant on Rule of Law, Transitional Justice, Human Rights and Women’s Rights at the Open Society Institute in Afghanistan. She has served as a fellow at both the International Center for Tolerance Education and the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative in 2010, and as a visiting fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, Columbia University. She is also on the International Steering Committee at Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace[4] [5]

She is currently serving as the executive director at the International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development in Kabul, Afghanistan. At the dedication of ICAWED Sakhi was praised for her work promoting the rights of women by former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush. The institute also houses the Laura Bush Library and Resource Center and was funded by a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations. [6] The work of the center focuses on providing the tools and resources necessary to promote women's rights and opportunities in business and government in Afghanistan.[7] During her time with ICAWED she has met with several dignitaries, including United States Secretary of State John Kerry [8] Her work has focused largely on advocating at the national and international level for improvements in public policies involving the rights of women and peaceful economic and political transition.

Sakhi has conducted a number of workshops and seminars regarding Women's rights at the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Gender Development in Afghanistan and others. She has provided political analysis to the BBC, Human Rights Watch and UNAMA. [5]

Speaking of the future of women's rights in a Voice of America interview Sakhi noted that the next generation of women have strong role models in current Afghan society,

“Looking at women talking about their political rights in parliament, looking at women entering into business and having trade in Malaysia and Dubai, and looking at women who are successful personalities internationally of raising Afghanistan voices. This gives an image.”[9]

External Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fulbright Scholar Recalls Her Struggle To Empower Afghan Women". America.gov. Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Advisory Board". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Nilofar Sakhi: Justice and Democracy in Afghanistan". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Nilofar Sakhi". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Asia 21 Fellows, Class of 2010". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Van Wie, Sara (5 June 2013). "Laura Bush Resource Center and Library Opens in Kabul". Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "November luncheon features Afghan women's rights activists". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Afghan Women Help Drive Resurgent Economy". Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Afghan Fashion Designer Creates Dresses, Jobs". 9 June 2013. Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.