Education, equality, empowerment: activist visits UOW
The United Nations reports that 87 per cent of Afghan women have suffered some form of domestic abuse. Although the situation for women is slowly improving with the assistance of the international community, there is little access to education, healthcare or social services.
The rights of women in Afghanistan were the focus of an inspiring presentation delivered by Afghan educator and activist Nasima Rahmani at UOW on Wednesday October 17.
Titled ‘Women in Afghanistan: Education, Equality and Empowerment,’ the presentation and Nasima’s visit to Wollongong were sponsored by UOW’s Institute for Social Transformation Research, the Faculty of Arts and the Indigo Foundation.
Nasima is a lecturer of Law and Director of the Women's Empowerment Centre at Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Funded by the Indigo Foundation as part of its education program in Afghanistan, the Women's Empowerment Centre supports marginalised Afghan women in accessing and completing tertiary studies.
She graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Kabul University in December 2003. It took her 12 years to graduate from her first admission to the faculty. She completed her first year of study in 1991 but due to the Islamic Revolution and again by the Taliban in 1996, was forced to abandon her education.
She gained a Master of Laws from University of Technology in Sydney in 2007 and was one of the first Peace Scholars from Afghanistan. Her scholarship was made possible through collaboration between the Peace Scholarship Program and the United Nations Development Fund for Women Australia (UNIFEM).
Nasima returned to Afghanistan and is now a Lecturer of Law and Director at the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education a non-profit coeducational tertiary institute established in 2010 by the world-renowned human rights activist and Independent Human Rights Commissioner for Afghanistan, Dr Sima Samar. The Institute provides affordable quality education in law, political science, economics and management.
As the Director and driving force of the Women’s Empowerment Centre, Nasima ensures female applicants are given opportunity and support to complete tertiary education. With financial and technical assistance from the Wollongong-based non-government organisation, Indigo Foundation, the Women’s Empowerment Centre provides a scholarship program to support the tuition fees of around ten disadvantaged female students wishing to enter GIHE each year.
Indigo foundation is an independent, Australian community development organisation providing effective and innovative assistance to improve the lives of people in marginalised communities in Australia and around the world. Its is currently supporting nine projects in countries such as India, Uganda and the Solomon Islands, predominately in the areas of health, education, and human rights. Many of the organisation’s and members, volunteers and supporters live in the Illawarra.
For further information see the foundation’s webpage.