Hanging by a Thread : Afghan Women's Rights and Security Threats

Dr. Massouda Jalal & Mario Silva

Hanging by a Thread : Afghan Women's Rights and Security Threats

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More than a decade after the Taliban were ousted from power, Afghans’ rights and security are at a crossroad, and women’s rights hang by a thread. Hanging by a Thread, written by two former political authorities, offers an update on opportunities—and dangers-facing the international community as Operation Enduring Freedom winds down. Dr. Jalal, a former minister in the Karzai government, asks the important questions and delivers informed insights on the history of women’s struggle in Afghanistan and the dangers posed by the ongoing negotiations with the Taliban. In Part II. Dr. Silva, a former member of the Canadian Parliament, addresses the continuing dilemma of security, state failure and terrorism and the structures and supports that must be in place following the international military withdrawal.

Dr. Massouda Jalal is a champion of peace, democracy and human rights in Afghanistan. As the first Afghan woman to contend for the presidency, she stormed major perceptual barriers in Afghanistan against women’s potential leadership in public life. She fought for the inclusion of equal rights for woman in the Afghan Constitution and served as Minister for Women’s Affairs from 2004-2006, laying the foundation for the development of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan and the decree on the elimination of violence against women. Dr. Jalal is a multiple award winner, pediatrician, teacher, activist and advocate for the people. She is the founder of the Jalal Foundation.

Mario Silva has had a distinguished career as an elected official in Canada as well as an author and international legal scholar. He was appointed by the Government of Canada as their 2013 Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and has been decorated by the governments of Brazil, France and Portugal. He is the current Chair of the International Forum For Rights and Security (IFFRAS)