On September 19, 2023, Jamila Afghani, 2022 Aurora Prize Laureate and President of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Afghanistan, spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting in New York City. CGI brings together leaders from across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors to take action on the most pressing global challenges.
The educator joined other humanitarians to talk about her personal experience with grassroots activists and local NGOs stepping up to provide immediate response during recent crises and the need to connect these nascent efforts with established humanitarian systems to have the greatest impact on the ground. The discussion was moderated by Heba Aly, Chief Executive Officer of The New Humanitarian, and also featured Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania; Tjada D'Oyen McKenna, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps, and Amanda Brown Lierman, Executive Director of GoFundMe.org.
When talking about the power that local grassroots organizations have as it comes to dealing with emergencies, 2022 Aurora Prize Laureate Jamila Afghani highlighted support networks, specifically women’s support networks, as one of the most efficient tools that had helped her and her organization react to the Taliban takeover. “We believe in the power of sisterhood. We believe in the power of humanity. And that’s why we are holding each other’s hand, and we are leaning on the shoulder of each other. Afghanistan is a very patriarchal country. You know about the Taliban and the bans the Taliban are imposing on women. And still, Afghan girls and women are doing their resistance underground,” said Jamila Afghani.
You can watch the full video of the panel below.