Wednesday, May 25th | 11am-12pm EDT

The Taliban’s take-over of Afghanistan in August 2021 marked a devastating blow for women’s rights and a reversal of recent progress the country has made toward advancing gender equality. The Ministry for Women’s Affairs has been abolished. Women have been barred from working or studying alongside men, effectively keeping them from attaining employment in government offices, financial institutions, and other influential professions. Those dedicated to defending women’s rights are under attack and their lives and those of their families at risk.

The nation has been plunged into a crisis anew, as relief organizations and civil society actors struggle to deliver much-needed support to the population. The global community has recognized the enormous need for resources to be deployed to respond to the crisis. However, questions and concerns are mounting: Is it possible to invest in the war-torn nation in a way that advances gender equality and does not back track on commitments made by investors, including government initiatives, over the past two decades? How can we channel capital to advancing women’s human rights when that capital is mandated to flow through the Taliban, thus strengthening a regime that is systematically in opposition to upholding those rights?

To help provide answers to these and other questions, Criterion, with the support of Oak Foundation and the involvement of social change organizations with on-the-ground experience in Afghanistan, embarked on an exploration of the possible pathways to finance the future of Afghanistan, and ultimately shift gendered power dynamics in the country.

This session was held on May 25th from 11am-12pm EDT for a webinar that shared the insights, frameworks, and ideas that emerged from our research.


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