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Hon. Naheed Farid testifies before the Senate Committee on Banking

October 14, 2021

Farid is the immediate former Member of Afghanistan Parliament and is a visiting researcher at the Law School this academic year.

The Honorable Naheed Farid has joined the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School as a visiting researcher for the academic year 2021-2022, where she will be working in partnership with Senior Adjunct Professor of Global Leadership Rangita de Silva de Alwis, who is also Hillary Rodham Clinton Distinguished Fellow on Gender Equity at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Farid is the immediate former Member of Afghanistan Parliament and Chairperson of its Standing Commission for Human Rights, Civil Society and Women’s Affairs.

Forced to flee Afghanistan due to the fall of the Afghan government, Farid testified before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on “Afghanistan’s Future: Assessing the National Security, Humanitarian and Economic Implications of the Taliban Takeover” on October 5, 2021. Addressing Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-PA), she said, “Make no mistake, the Taliban governs through fear. Their soldiers indiscriminately whip civilians in the street. They have resumed public executions and mutilations. They have committed forced displacements and atrocities against Tajiks and Hazaras in Panjshir, Daikundi and other places. They have curbed free speech and decimated Afghanistan’s once-thriving media sector. The Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda and other dangerous terrorist groups now operate freely in Afghanistan and have significant control within the Taliban leadership.”

“I have had so many meetings with Members of Congress these past few years and I know that so many of you feel a deep bond with the Afghan people and especially with Afghan women,” she continued. “What the Afghan people need right now are three things: immediate humanitarian assistance, legislation that prohibits U.S. recognition and normalization of relations within the Taliban, and support for local NGOs and civil society who can deliver basic services in the absence of a normal government.”

For the last decade, Farid has been working closely with de Silva de Alwis who provided advise to the drafting of Afghanistan’s Elimination of Violence against Women Executive Order (2009). They are currently working on a publication titled, “The Unfinished Legislative Agenda on Women’s Rights in Afghanistan,” which will examine gender equal bills that were passed and the bills that are stuck in Parliament that are now being rolled back.

In the short video interview below, de Silva de Alwis and Farid discuss the unfinished legislative agenda on women’s rights and the critical role of Afghan women in parliament. Additionally, they cover revisions to the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law, the Child Protection Law, the Citizenship Law, the Labor Law, the Electoral Law, and the Identification Law.