Afghanistan: Afghan leaders protest the murder of Safia Amajan

Afghan Women's Network
On 5 October, civil society and NGO community gathered to protest the murder of Safia Amajan and demand significant changes in security policy from national and international forces.
The demonstration was organized by four of the major coordination bodies in Afghanistan – The Afghan Women’s Network (AWN), Agency Coordination Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR), Afghan Civil Society Forum (ACSF) and the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society (FCCS).
Sheela Samimi, AWN Training Coordinator, read a statement jointly prepared by the organizers and respected leaders Mullah Fazil Ahmed Manewi and Fatana Gelani and renowned activist Nancy DuPree spoke on non-violence in Islam, women’s security and the need for security reform, respectively.

Though Afghanistan has witnessed many positive changes since the fall of the Taliban, including women being elected to, and serving in, Parliament and over 1 million girls registering for and attending school, the security situation around the country worsens daily. Acts of terrorism such as suicide bombs and politically motivated violence, tactics new to the Afghan political landscape, threaten the lives and work of all citizens. Especially vulnerable are the brave public servants, community activists and government officials working towards reconstruction and democratic reform. “Without security there can be no freedom and without freedom there can be no democracy. Without security women, men, girls and boys lack the ability to embrace their constitutionally mandated right to freely participate in the educational, developmental and structural growth of Afghanistan’s government and society,” said Samimi.

Participants were called upon to renew their commitment to action and to show the world that the people of Afghanistan believe in peace, demand protection and are willing to fight for the security of their country and families. The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan along with relevant international actors were called upon to protect Afghanistan from neighboring countries who harbor, train and encourage terrorism; to financially support the families of the victims of terrorism; to ensure that concrete legal actions are taken to catch, prosecute and punish all men and women involved in acts of terrorism; to dedicate increased time, money and resources to uncovering the root causes of social insecurity and terrorism and to; increase the pressure on international governments and humanitarian organizations to enforce international legal standards.

A vigorous debate between the press, the audience and a six person panel of experts* closed the event. Palwasha Hassan, renowned activist and NGO leader, summated the overall message of the event when she said, “while the security of everyone in the country is important, it is crucial to specifically analyze the complexity of women’s security needs. The security situation in Afghanistan forces women to stop actively participating in the rebuilding of this country.”

The Afghan Women’s Network is a non-partisan, non-profit network of NGOs working to empower Afghan women and ensure their equal participation in society. The members of the Network also recognize the value and role of children as the future of Afghanistan and, as such, regard the empowerment and protection of children fundamental to their work. The Network seeks to enhance the effectiveness of its members by fostering partnership and collaboration between members, undertaking advocacy and lobbying, and building their individual capacities. AWN is the largest national women’s rights organization representing 96 NGOs and over three thousand individual members. For more information please contact Wazma Popal, Office Manager, at +93 (0) 220 0691 or visit us on the internet at

Zameray Faqiri (ANSO), Palwasha Hassan (AWN), Soriya Sobring (AIHRC), Mr. Meyer (ACBAR), Aziz Rafee (ACSF), Maky Siawash (KOO)