Exclusion and Resistance: The Betrayal of the Afghan Peace Process

Dr Lina Torijan

Exclusion and Resistance: The Betrayal of the Afghan Peace Process

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm
ZOOM Online Webinar
Lina Tori Jan (St. Antony’s College | Master of Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government)
Professor Marilyn Booth (Magdalen College, Oxford)
MEC Women's Rights Research Seminars

Biography: Lina Tori Jan is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, and advocate for equality and human rights, with a focus on the rights of women, girls, and refugees. Shaped by her experiences as a Hazara woman raised in Kabul and as a survivor of violence, Lina has worked with companies, NGOs, and governments, assisting in their efforts to create a more just society. Through roles with the International Rescue Committee, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Women for Women International, and the Oxford Centre for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC), she has held and taught literacy classes for Afghan women and girls, assisted newly arrived refugees and immigrants with cultural adjustment, served the formerly incarcerated through restoring their civil rights, and conducted research to help those fleeing persecution and violence. Lina is the Founder and Director of Chai wa Dastan, an award-winning initiative aimed at sharing stories and lessons of empowerment, resilience, and leadership, through the revitalization of the oral tradition of storytelling. She also serves as a Cultural Expertise Advisor on the Interim Board for Team America Relief—an organization that assists in the evacuation of vulnerable people from Afghanistan—and serves as a GSR Fellow with the Global Situation Room. Lina holds a B.A. in Leadership Studies and Political Science from the University of Richmond and will soon receive a Master of Public Policy from the University of Oxford. Lina and her work have been featured by numerous media organizations, including the BBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, and NBC’s The Today Show.


The signing of the peace agreement between the United States and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in February 2020 excluded major stakeholders from the negotiations, including Afghan women, minority/marginalized groups, and the Ashraf Ghani government. While the international community turned a blind eye to the concerns of these stakeholders, many, though primarily women and minority groups, foreshadowed a deadly cost to this peace agreement. Unfortunately, these concerns were manifested upon the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, leading to a major humanitarian crisis in the country and the forced displacement of millions internally and thousands externally. One of the major groups who had the most at risk was Afghan women. While the situation led to a brain drain as many educated women fled the regime, the Afghan women's resistance movement, in which thousands took to the streets, showed that the women of Afghanistan are not the same as they were twenty years ago and will demand their rights from their oppressors—even if the cost is heavy. Many Afghans and people around the world have been encouraged by the Afghan women's bravery. While it is not clear where this movement will go and how long it will persist, it has demonstrated that the Taliban cannot oppress the Afghan women in the same way as they did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. On the other hand, we have also seen women on the Taliban’s side take on the streets and claim that they seek a society within the Taliban framework of Islam. In this talk, Lina Tori Jan, who grew up during the first Taliban regime as a member of the persecuted Hazara ethnic minority, shares her views on the above points based on both her research background and personal experience, while weaving in some of the lessons she learned through assisting her family to escape from Kabul this past August.


Registration essential: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ASpvcbMQSGO8EkgFxSNlUA