Presentations

Advocacy is something I practice wherever I can.  In Afghanistan I have promoted gender issues in meetings with government officials, national and international NGO project directors, the media, academics and at global summits, and have provided many women’s rights trainings. In the U.S., my venues have included forums sponsored by international organizations and groups affiliated with the University of Virginia.  Below is a partial list of my presentations.

July 2017 – US Congressional Briefing on Progress for Afghan Women and Girls

Sponsored by: Feminist Majority Foundation

One of three Afghan presenters, and the only woman, addressing media’s stereotypic and ethnocentric representation of Afghan Women, using current situations like the 2015 brutal mob killing of Farkhunda and the 2016-17 pro-women mobilizations by men.

Contact: Marzia Nawrozi, mnawrozi@feminist.org

An article about the briefing is at https://feminist.org/blog/index.php/2017/06/21/feminist-majority-foundation-holds-congressional-briefing-on-progress-for-afghan-women-and-girls/

March 24, 2015: Minority Voices
Sponsored by: The University of Virginia’s Middle Eastern Leadership Council (MELC)
One of and the only woman among ten presenters addressing media’s stereotypic and ethnocentric representation of Afghan Women, using current situations like Farkhunda and the pro-women mobilizations by men.
Contact: Adrianna Taweel, Cordinator of MELC, ast9ff@virginia.edu

March 22, 2015: Standing Shoulder to Shoulder with Women of Afghanistan
National Young Women’s Leadership Conference
Crystal City, VA
Sponsored by: Feminist Majority Foundation
One of three panelists, including Scott Mackey, project director at the U.S. Alliance in Support of the Afghan People, and Nilofar Shakhi, director of the International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development (ICAWED) at the American University of Afghanistan. I congratulated my co-panelists on their informed observations of positive change from US and NATO funded projects, and also pointed out their cultural and geographical deficiencies while making suggestions for improvements and how to better design new culturally sensitive initiatives.
Contact: Eleanor Smeal, President of Feminist Majority Foundation, esmeal@feminist.org

March 21, 2015: Iran Day
Sponsored by: Persian Cultural Society (PCS) at the University of Virginia
During the annual celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, I recited the renowned poem of hope and change by Forough Farrokhzad.
Contact: Ghazal Rashidi, PCS coordinator, gr3fv@virginia.edu

February 16, 2015:  University of Virginia Army ROTC
Charlottesville, Va
Provided a cultural awareness training via a personal perspective about Afghanistan before, during and after the Taliban to fourth year UVa ROTC students. Previously facilitated a similar training to graduating students on March 2014.
Contact:  LTC Mark Houston, Chair, UVa Military Science Department, mch8v@eservices.virginia.edu

November 15, 2014:  Shabe Yalda
Hosted  and Sponsored by:   the University of Virginia’s Persian Cultural Society (PCS)
During this cultural event celebrating the Persian birthday of the sun and the triumph of light over dark, good over evil, I gave a talk on the life and tremendous influence of the Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad and afterwards, recited her poem Another Birth in Persian while providing an English power point translation of the same.
Taneen Mahksoudi, PCS Social Chair, tm4pm@virginia.edu

April 17, 2014:  Kandahar Treasure:  A lecture on Women’s Rights and Economic Development in Afghanistan
Hosted by:   the University of Virginia’s Afghanistan Student Association
Sponsored by:   Office of the Dean of Students, the Middle Eastern Leadership Council, and the International Relations Organization
I spoke about the newly energized young Afghan generation, especially those attending universities, and used it to frame my exposition on women’s rights and development over the past ten years.
Maryam Ghariban, President, MELC, mg5yd@virginia.edu

April 7, 2014:  Poetry Night
Sponsored by:  the University of Virginia’s Middle Eastern Leadership Council
These bimonthly events expose students and the public to a variety of poetry styles, topics, and languages from the Middle East and some South East Asian countries.  I chose to recite a Persian poem by the 20th century Iranian feminist Forough Farrokhzad.
Maryam Ghariban, President, MELC, mg5yd@virginia.edu

April 3, 2014:  Minority Voices
Sponsored by:  the University of Virginia’s Middle Eastern Leadership Council (MELC)
A TED Talk inspired event during which UVa students from diverse minority organizations tell their stories.  I addressed women’s rights in Afghanistan by sharing my experiences under the Taliban and subsequent journey to UVa.
Maryam Ghariban, President, MELC, mg5yd@virginia.edu

March 2014:  Standing Shoulder to Shoulder with Women of Afghanistan
2014 National Young Feminist Leadership Conference
Crystal City, Va
Sponsored by:  Feminist Majority Foundation
One of four panelists addressing the impact of U.S. and NATO assistance on the status of women in Afghanistan.

March 2014:  University of Virginia Army ROTC
Charlottesville, Va
Provided cultural awareness training via a personal perspective about Afghanistan before, during and after the Taliban to UVa ROTC students, some who may be deployed there.  Contact:  LTC Mark Houston, Chair, UVa Military Science Department, mch8v@eservices.virginia.edu

November 2013:  TEDxUVA Presentations
Charlottesville, Va
Among the more than 50 video applicants, I was one of twelve selected as a finalist in the Student Speaker Competition for the February 2014 TEDxUVa, which required me to speak at a public venue about my Afghan experiences as a survivor of forced marriage and aspiring journalist.

August,  2013:  United Nations Foundation
New York, New York
Related to a photo exhibit “Too Young to Wed” which UNF organized in Washington, D.C., I addressed forced marriage in Afghanistan and shared my personal experience with the group and photographer Stephanie Sinclair.  http://tooyoungtowed.org    Contact:  Kate Gilmore,  Gilmore@unfpa.org

August, 2013:  University of Virginia Women’s Studies
Charlottesville, Va
Invited by the Introduction to Gender Studies class to address forced marriage; provided a global summary, a focus on Afghanistan, and my personal experiences as a survivor.  Contact:  Corrine Field, Gender Studies Professor, cf6d@virginia.edu

Fall 2009:  Women in Afghanistan Panel
Sponsored by:  Feminist Majority Foundation
I spoke of my life in Afghanistan, touching upon such issues as forced marriage at the age of 11, my father being kidnapped and disappeared in 2000 and the continued threats and harassment of my family as a result of its resistance for forced marriage, and the discrimination I endured as a woman in my country.

January 30, 2008:  Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda, Washington, DC
Sponsored by:  International Center for Research on Women/IRCW
During the presentation of a new IRCW publication, in which my story is mentioned, I addressed – through a translator – my life as a 19 year old Afghan immigrant, who, at the time, was seeking asylum from forced marriage and gender discrimination.
http://www.icrw.org/files/publications/Girls-Speak-A-New-Voice-In-Global-Development.pdf  Contact:  Margaret Greene,  margaretegreene@gmail.com