fbpx Political and Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan: Implications for Women and Girls | Harvard Kennedy School
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Date and Location

April 5, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
R-414ab David T. Ellwood Democracy Lab


Political and Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan: Implications for Women and Girls Photo

​​​On April 5, 2023, CID Presents Janti Soeripto​, Save the Children USA CEO, and Naheed Esar, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan. Soeripto will discuss her recent trip to Afghanistan and her analysis of the humanitarian situation on the ground. From Esar, we will hear about the political developments under Taliban rule and insights from her time working for the Afghan government.

​Under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, basic and fundamental rights of women and girls are under assault.  Bans prohibiting women from attending universities and girls from attending middle and high schools are now in place. Afghanistan is now the only country in the world that bans girls from going to school and universities. Restricted access to reproductive healthcare and child marriage create life-threatening conditions for women and girls.  It has been difficult to deliver lifesaving aid — and this was before the Taliban’s Christmas Eve 2022 ban preventing Afghan women from working for local and international NGOs.  The ban led major INGOs to temporarily suspend their operations since they cannot reach vulnerable populations without their female staff. The Taliban are writing a new future based on its past, when it denied basic rights and opportunities to women and girls in the 1990s. The Taliban’s gender apartheid subjects Afghanistan’s women and girls, and eventually all its citizens, to lifelong poverty. 

This talk will be part of the Harvard Spotlight Series on Afghanistan ​led by the Center for International Development (CID), the Women and Public Policy Program​ (WAPPP), the Center for Public Leadership​ (CPL), the Carr Center for Human Rights​, and the Mittal Institute for South Asia ​at Harvard University. The Harvard Spotlight Series will examine the multilayered facets of human rights, economic development, humanitarian aid, and political dynamics shaping the lives of 30 million Afghans today.  

This is a hybrid event open virtually to the public and in-person at the Harvard ​Kennedy School for members of the Harvard Community. Lunch will be served. 

Speakers and Presenters

​Janti Soeripto​, Save the Children USA CEO; Naheed Esar, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan.​



Additional Organizers

​​The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University