Posts Tagged ‘Somalia’

As the war in Afghanistan approaches its tenth year, women and girls worry that the peace they want will come at the price of the few freedoms they have gained since the Taliban was overthrown in 2001. From school closures to increased threats against working women, the rights women want seem to be slipping away. Read more about the difficult situations women are facing in Afghanistan in this article from the New York Times.

This month the Council will present two programs about strong women who are working to empower women. On August 11, the Asia Foundation will co-sponsor a program with Samar Minallah, the Asia Foundation Chang Lin Tien Visiting Fellow at the Global Fund for Women and the founder of Ethnomedia. Minallah is an anthropologist, writer, human rights activist and one of Pakistan’s few documentary filmmakers. She will share excerpts from her documentaries and discuss using video as an advocacy tool for women’s rights in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Asha Hagi, the co-founder and chairperson of Save Somali Women and Children, will speak on August 27 in a co-sponsored program at the Commonwealth Club. Hagi will describe the innovative creation of a women’s network, The Sixth Clan, to facilitate full participation in national politics and the peace process.

To register for either program, please visit the Council’s online calendar.

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On Tuesday, June 15 the Council hosted the Rt. Rev. William Swing, president and founder of the United Religions Initiative and former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California. He spoke about URI’s recent partnership with Somalia, where it is working to bring Somalis together to form a more cohesive nation. Although the country is often thought of as a lawless land with pirates, Swing believes that, “There are far more people in Somalia who just want to raise their families, be responsible citizens and be free from the chaos.” That’s why, according to Swing, “they’re seeking to accomplish it in semi-autonomous regions rather than in the black hole of tone-deaf power at the nation’s center.” That’s why so many Somalis are jumping at the chance to be part of the URI and similar groups.

To learn more about the United Religions Initiative’s actions in Somalia and the 74 other projects they have around the world, visit their website here. You can listen to the entire program with the Rt. Rev. Swing on our online audio archive.

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