Three Women, Three Generations, One Shared Vision for the Future of Afghanistan

WIN hosted this well-attended event on the 14th to bring the voice of three women, three generations who were forced to leave Afghanistan recently to save their lives and the lives of their families. The program was in English. In this event, we were honored to have the following amazing change-makers.

Najiba Ayubi – Journalist

Award-winning journalist Najiba Ayubi – is an Afghan journalist and activist for human rights and freedom of the press with over two decades of experience covering news stories in the country. Ms. Ayubi has worked under anonymous threats and attacks from government entities for her reporting on politics and women’s rights. As Managing Director of The Killid Group, she leads a team of reporters working in print, broadcast, and online media that includes two of the country’s most popular magazines (Killid Weekly and Mursal Weekly) and eleven radio stations with a total of 12 million listeners and about 100 affiliated radios. She has refused calls for censorship and is passionate about independent media.

Ms. Ayubi is the co-founder of the Afghan Independent Media Consortium and the Freedom of Expression Initiative, which aims to provide resources and support for independent journalists in her country. In recognition of her courage and contribution, Ms. Ayubi won the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award in 2013.

The Killid Group General Director Najiba Ayubi, has been included in the first-ever list of 100 information heroes by Reporters Without Borders in 2014. The tireless advocate for freedom of expression Najiba Ayubi from Afghanistan has been recognized by the Swedish Section of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its annual Press Free-dom prize.

Ms. Ayubi is a specialist in managing all editorials, print materials including (magazines, booklets, brochures, news articles, etc…), digital media substances (DHSA/TKG owned websites, social media – Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter), and production and broadcasting of radio programs covering all walks of life. She worked reporting on crimes of war, transitional justice, social protection, and domestic violence. Najiba is a well-trained trainer.

She serves as head of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Afghanistan chapter. Under Najiba’s supervision, a book was created by the IA-WRT Afghanistan chapter, ( Ahesta Wa Paiwasta (Slowly but Successively) which consists of 20 in-depth interviews with Afghan female journalists. Ms.Ayubi is the author of Shadow In The Dark expressive stories and realities of life of Afghan women & girls.

She directed a documentary ‘’ dar Edama e-Raah (The on-going path)’’ which shows the difficulties facing woman journalists in Afghanistan’s 100 years of history.

Najiba holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ebn-e-Sina University and graduated in Middle and Top Management Courses from Cranfield University, UK. She is a graduate of the Oslo-Met Certificate Course of Peace Journalism from the University of Oslo.

Latifa Ahmadi – Women’s Rights Activist – WIN Board Member

I am Latifa Ahmady from Afghanistan. I have 39 years and have 4 children.

I completed my primary and secondary education in Pakistan. I got my Bachelor’s Degree from Kabul Educational University- faculty of English Literature and my Master’s Degree in International Relations from Avicenna University- Kabul -Afghanistan. I dedicated my life to empowering women to break the chains of oppression, discrimination, and violence against women. I was a representative of Afghan women who participated in different European and Asian International women gathering for revealing the real conditions of Afghan women.

• Women activist since being 14 years

• Former Executive Director of OPAWC (Organization for Promoting Afghan Women Capabilities)

• Present Director of EBFO (Enter to Bright Future Organization)

I worked in different areas, but I spent most of my life period for OPAWC [Organization for Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities]. I was responsible for the overall management of this organization and coordinating and updating provincial activities. Worked hard to teach the women to defend their rights and to participate in the women’s movements for their rights. Involved in reporting to donors and government agencies, involved in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating different projects, and Involved in developing training on different issues. I volunteered much of my time to extend OPAWC ‘s activities in different fields in different provinces in order to pave the way for more women and girls to walk through and learn. I volunteered my life and time for helping women and children in different fields.

Formally worked as administrator and translator in OPAWC, worked as Instructor in Private Institutes and Courses, worked as a translator and provincial coordinator in Ministry of Education of Afghanistan worked as freelancer translator in BBC monitoring Afghanistan, worked as a project assistant in COSPE Onlus an Italian Ngo and from October 2009 to May2017 worked as Executive Director of OPAWC. I resigned from OPAWC on May2017 in order to give the chance to other young women to take the lead.

I Registered and headed a new NGO named (Enter to Bright Future Organization) in Dec2018. The Objectives and Goals are to help vulnerable women and children and the youth generation. We had two small projects but could not find funds due to lockdown and Covid-19.

In December2020 my family was at high risk and there was no way to stay there, so we left Afghanistan and went to Uzbekistan, and from there came to Sweden.

Marva Dashti – Journalist

Marwa Dashti is a young passionate woman from Afghanistan, her work and passion lie in the same line of work as her Father. Her father Fahim Dashty was the biggest advocate for freedom of speech in Afghanistan and he lost his life defending the freedom he believed in. Marwa Dashti from a young age dreamed to follow her Dad’s footsteps, she started volunteering at Afghanistan National Journalist Union (ANJU) at the age of 17. After the fall of Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban, Marwa faced a lot of barriers after losing her Dad. On her way to Canada, she did not stop working and serving her nation. She served as a community mediator for a well-known charity and the embassy of the USA in Albania helping refugees transition.

CEDAW Ordinance Santa Clara County

Here is the WIN letter of support to the Policy Committee of Santa Clara County CSFC ( Children, Seniors, Families Committee) supporting the CEDAW Ordinance. The outstanding collective work of a host of organizations, including WIN and Cities for CEDAW, was highly effective, and the two supervisors ( Chavez and Ellenberg ) pulled the items and added them to consent. In addition, they specifically directed County Counsel to come back to the September meeting with a Draft CEDAW Ordinance and collaborate with the County’s Commission on the Status of Women to draft the ordinance. Our hat’s off to Nancy Bremeau for orchestrating such excellent support.

Cities for CEDAW Quarterly Meeting

The Cities for CEDAW quarterly meeting on June 18th, 2022 brought a number of people together locally and globally. At this meeting, We had an excellent presentation by Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi, CEDAW Chair, San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.

The quarterly meetings of Cities for CEDAW are open to everyone interested to learn more about implementing CEDAW, the Bill of Rights of women and girls, at the local level. Here is the recording of this meeting.

WIN / Cities for CEDAW Written and Oral Testimony for District of Columbia Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Amendment Act of 2022

Dr. Gail James

The Women’s Intercultural Network was pleased to submit written testimony and stand for oral testimony on 6/30/2022 for the Council of the District of Columbia on the Bill to implement efforts to address discrimination against women and girls. B24-649, the “Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Amendment Act of 2022”. Here is the link to three hours and 13 minutes round table on CEDAW.

San Diego’s CEDAW Ordinance: the value of national support, legislation overview, and the importance of focusing on poverty and intersectionality

Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi

In May 2022, San Diego County adopted an ordinance reflecting the principles underlying The United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The Value of National Support

Leading up to the adoption of this historic legislation, our County benefited tremendously from insightful, impactful, and timely support from individuals and entities across the nation, particularly the Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN) and the Cities for CEDAW Campaign (C4C). As Chair of the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls’ CEDAW Committee, this national network was vital to our Commission’s effective CEDAW advocacy.

As soon as our Board approved the drafting of an ordinance, a national network of CEDAW experts – including from WIN and C4C – sprung to action to assist our Commission’s CEDAW work. These dedicated CEDAW advocates provided insight during our drafting phase, submitted formal public comment to strengthen our ordinance, and wrote and called in to encourage our Board of Supervisors to vote to adopt our ordinance. This network also participated in our public forums, which we organized to obtain community input on our draft language to ensure our ordinance represented the needs of all women and girls in our region.

CEDAW representatives – from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles – volunteered their time to share their experiences working on and implementing similar legislation. In fact, C4C Advisory Committee member Mary Hansel joined Pittsburgh Gender Equity Commissioner Judy Hale to volunteer time to serve as a panelist at our public forums. This helped us educate our community about the value of CEDAW legislation, and the importance of effective implementation. C4C also worked relentlessly to support our ordinance through CEDAW-based education, including Mary Hansel who dedicated countless hours to educate the community through a local op-ed on behalf of C4C.

Legislation Overview

Our CEDAW ordinance contains six sections. The Local Principles of CEDAW section addresses seven areas: economic development; the criminal legal system; political and civic engagement; healthcare; gender-based violence and harassment; housing and homelessness; and transportation, library services, parks and recreation, and environmental health services. The Local Implementation of the CEDAW section delineates the implementation plan, including the intersectional gender analyses, and the intersectional gender equity action plans. After the baseline intersectional gender equity analysis is completed, each County department, office, program, board, commission, and other operational unit will develop an intersectional gender action plan. Simultaneously to the development of the unit-specific plans, the County will also develop a five-year Countywide intersectional gender equity plan.

The Importance of Focusing on Poverty and Intersectionality

As a Commissioner, a Vice-Chair, and the CEDAW Committee Chair, I am proud of the progress that will be made as this important legislation is implemented. As a poverty law and civil rights attorney, I am particularly proud that our ordinance centers women in poverty and mandates an intersectional discrimination approach. Through my work representing low-income individuals and nonprofit organizations that serve low-income individuals, I know first-hand how poverty disproportionately adversely impacts women. From my role as an adjunct law professor teaching USD Law’s Poverty Law course, I am also acutely aware of the history and legislative intent underlying the programs and services intended to serve low-income women.

In San Diego – and globally – women are significantly more likely to live in poverty than men. Women are also more likely to live in extreme poverty than men. Single parent households with children headed by women are more likely to live in poverty than married couple families. Minoritized women-headed households with children are more likely to live poverty than white women-headed households with children. A majority – 80% according to one report – of women in jails are mothers, and the majority of these mothers were the primary caregivers for their children. Having children is the single greatest predictor of whether someone will face eviction, especially minoritized women who continue to be paid significantly less than white women. 

Given the vital role policy plays in poverty alleviation, it is imperative that CEDAW ordinances center poverty. In drafting the ordinance, I worked to center poverty, which was consistent with our CEDAW advocacy which drew attention to Census Bureau data illustrating the level of poverty – and extreme poverty – experienced by women and girls in our region. I am proud that our CEDAW ordinance explicitly includes the administration of public benefits, because of the impact public benefits have on minoritized women with children living in poverty. Once implemented, our ordinance will allow us to identify, analyze, and eliminate discriminatory barriers in all services and programs, including the administration of public benefits. As a result, our ordinance will address – and remedy – the discriminatory effects experienced by the most socioeconomically disadvantaged women in our County.

It is also of utmost importance that CEDAW ordinances mandate an intersectional discrimination approach. This is necessary to ensure that this work mitigates – rather than perpetuates – discrimination. I am proud of the language in our ordinance that makes clear how each gender equity analysis will be conducted – and each plan will be developed – through an intersectional framework. I am also proud that our ordinance contains a clause that specifically addresses intersectionality. That clause states “Multiple forms of discrimination compound to disadvantage and oppress women, including race, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, familial status, and age.”

Through this poverty-focused and intersectional approach, our ordinance envisions and sets forth a framework to ensure that everyone is free from gender discrimination of any kind. In implementing our ordinance, our County will apply an evidence-based, data-driven approach to identify, analyze, and remove discriminatory barriers. This will serve to assert and advance the rights of all San Diegans, particularly women in poverty and minoritized women.  


In summary, our County benefitted tremendously from the support of a national network of CEDAW advocates, particularly WIN and C4C. Their support, efforts, and expertise throughout this process was invaluable. This CEDAW network continues to provide support as San Diego County enters its implementation phase. Thank you WIN and C4C for improving the lives of women and girls in San Diego County.   

Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi is a Commissioner and Vice-Chair of the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Since 2019, she has chaired the Commission’s CEDAW Committee and is a founding member of the statewide CEDAW Challenge Team. A graduate of University of Michigan, University of California Davis School of Law, and the Racial Justice Institute, Parisa has represented low-income, minoritized families and individuals in civil rights and poverty law cases across California since 2010. In addition to practicing law full-time, she serves as an adjunct law professor at USD Law, where she teaches the law school’s Poverty Law course.