Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion

Femena: Right, Peace, Inclusion
Supporting WHRDs & progressive feminist movements in MENA & Asia.

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Standing in Solidarity: Advocating for the Rights and Voices of Afghan Women

In a powerful demonstration of solidarity, 68 regional and international organizations and 38 individuals, including journalists, activists, professors, and human rights advocates, have united to demand the release of Afghan WHRDs Neda Parwani, Zholia Parsi, and, Manizha Sediqi, who were forcibly taken by the Taliban in the past month. This collective effort underscores our commitment to protecting and securing the fundamental rights of these courageous women. Read our full statement below.


For over a month, WHRDs Neda Parwani, Zholia Parsi, along with her son, and recently Manizha Sediqi, have been forcibly taken by the Taliban. These WHRDs have been advocating for women’s rights in Afghanistan, the only country in the world where women are denied secondary and higher education

Since the Taliban takeover, Afghan women have fearlessly led civic protests, enduring violence and persecution. Despite risks, including being pepper sprayed, abducted, tortured, and killed, they persist. 

Zholia Parsi, speaking to Femena in August 2023, expressed frustrations about the impact of their struggles: ‘In an attempt to demand our rights, I started protesting on the streets. My protests feel futile, with little hope for change.’

Since the imprisonment of Zholia, Neda, and Manizha, women protesters across Afghanistan continue to persist and resist the Taliban.  They conduct indoor protests, urging the international community to hold the Taliban accountable, demanding justice.

For over two years, the Taliban have violated international human rights with impunity. 

Femena stands in solidarity with these brave women, urging the world to listen and act. It is past time to demand accountability, ensuring the voices and rights of Afghan women are recognized and protected. 

Our Call for Action:

  • Pressure the Taliban: We urge UNAMA and diplomatic missions in Afghanistan to exert pressure on the Taliban, demanding an end to their targeted attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) and other civic actors within the country.
  • Advocate for WHRDs: We demand that UNAMA, diplomatic missions, and Special Envoys for Afghanistan elevate the cases of WHRDs in Taliban prisons, advocating vigorously for their safe release and ensuring their human rights are protected.
  • Support WHRDs: We urge key international stakeholders to provide crucial financial, protection, and relocation support to Afghan WHRDs whenever their lives are under threat. These measures are essential for safeguarding the lives and contributions of these brave activists.

We, the signatories of this statement of solidarity, demand action to support and protect Afghan Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) and advocate for their release from Taliban prisons in Afghanistan.

Organizational Signatories

  1. Afghan Canadian House of Culture 
  2. Afghan Women Justice Movement 
  3. Afghan Women’s Revolution Movement
  4. Afghanistan Women’s Justice Movement 
  5. Afghanistan Women’s New Thought Movement 
  6. Afghanistan Women’s Revolution 
  7. Alternatives Links for Training and Development 
  8. Anethum Global
  9. AREU
  10. ArtLords
  11. AWID
  12. Bent El Nile
  13. Bibliotheek
  14. Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA)
  15. Center for the Projection of Afghan Women Journalists
  16. Civil Society Association 
  17. Civil Society Development and Growth Organization (CSDGO) 
  18. Dare organization 
  19. Defence Foundation for Rights and Freedoms
  20. Doria Feminist Fund
  21. Droit Des Femmes
  22. ECW
  23. Equality Now
  24. Farkhunda News And  Afghan Women’s Movement for Justice and Freedom 
  25. Femena 
  26. Feminine Perspective Campaign 
  27. FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  28. Genocide Watch
  29. Green Home 
  30. HRD+ 
  31. Pen Path Education Society 
  32. Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derechos Humanos (IM-Defensoras)
  33. International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law (IANGEL)
  34. International Service for Human Rights
  35. Iran- SAed Rahnavard
  36. Justice Movement To End Gender Apartheid 
  37. Kaboof
  38. Kurdistan Human Rights Association-Geneva (KMMK-G)
  39. Kurdpa Human Rights Organization
  40. Leila Hessini Strategies
  41. Miaan
  42. Movement of Women to Awareness 
  43. MOWA
  44. Nazra for Feminist Studies 
  45. NRF Women- Afghanistan 
  46. PEN America
  47. Powerful Women’s Movement in Afghanistan 
  48. Qarar foundation for Media and development
  49. Salam
  50. Sisterhood and Solidarity Inc
  51. South Asian Women’s Community Centre, Montreal, Canada
  52. Spontaneous Movement of Protesting Women of Afghanistan
  53. Syrian Feminist Lobby
  54. Takatoat
  55. The Regional Coalition for WHRDs in SWANA (also known as WHRDMENA)
  56. Training Human Rights Association for Afghan Women (THRA)
  57. Unity and Solidarity of Afghan Women 
  58. WHRDS
  59. WLUML
  60. Women and Children Research and Advocacy Network
  61. Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition
  62. Women Participation Promotion Organization 
  63. Women Strijders
  64. Women’s Movement Towards Freedom 
  65. Women’s Rehabilitation Center (WOREC) Nepal 
  66. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  67. جنبش رفاه و عدالت برای زنان
  68. جنبش زنان عدالتخواه افغانستان 

Individual Signatories

  1. Abida Jabarzai
  2. Ali-AkbarMousavi, Postdoc Research Fellow
  3. Asma Khalifa, Human Rights Activist
  4. Aziz Khurasani
  5. Batool Haidari, University Professor 
  6. Claire Rimmer
  7. Faiza Mohseni, Pedagogist
  8. Farid Barzgar, Poet and Peace Activist
  9. Farida Safi, Journalist and Activist 
  10. Fatema D. Ahmadi, Consultant
  11. Fatima Mohammadi, Activist 
  12. Hakima Kouhyar
  13. Hossein Raeesi, Adjunct Professor /Human Rights Lawyer
  14. Joyce Shanahan, Strategic Advisor
  15. Kristina Stockwood
  16. Latifa Ahmadi, Activist 
  17. Mahdieh Golroo, Feminist and Human Right activist
  18. Mitra Ayari
  19. Mona Tajali
  20. Moni Alavi, Lawyer
  21. Nadima Farani
  22. Nayereh Tohidi, Professor Emerita
  23. Niki Akhavan, Associate Professor
  24. Palwasha Paiwandi, Human Rights Advocate 
  25. Razan ALMoghrabi
  26. Sahar
  27. Ben Hazem 
  28. Sakina Hassani, Student
  29. Sawssan Abou-Zahr, Journalist
  30. Sina Toossi, Policy and Editorial Advisor
  31. Somayeh Rashidi, Social Worker
  32. Sourget Claire
  33. Stephanie Farrior, Professor of International Law (retired)
  34. Storay Darwazy, Activist 
  35. Waheza Kakar, Activist 
  36. Weam Shawgi Hassan
  37. Wida Saghary, Journalist
  38. Zia Moballegh