CONFERENCES, MEETINGS AND SEMINARS ATTENDED BY WAPHA
3/2/98 WAPHA participated in a Briefing at the United States Senate, organized by Senator Dianne Feinstein.
12/29/97 to 1/16/98, Dr. Shorish-Shamley, WAPHAs Director traveled to India and Pakistan conducting research on the Afghan refugee condition in those countries. In refugee camps in Pakistan information was gathered on the general condition of Afghan Refugees with a focus on women and children's health and women"s reproductive health
1/22/98 WAPHA and other Afghan and American women's organization met with Mr. Karl Inderfurth at the United States State Department, Washington, D. C., discussing the Afghan women's human rights. In this meeting WAPHA"s representative raised issues concerning the horrendous state of the Afghan refugees health, security and general condition in Pakistan and Afghanistan with a focus on women and children.
11/26/98 WAPHA attended a meeting with many other women's group, organized by the Feminist Majority. In the meeting representative of WAPHA reported some of the findings regarding the Afghan refugee’"s health and security condition.
March 31, 1998, WAPHA attended a meeting organized by the Afghanistan Foundation concerning the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
April 6, 1998, WAPHA attended a meeting organized by State Department concerning the capacity building projects for the Afghan NGO's in the refugee camps in Pakistan.
*In 1997 WAPHA representatives gave numerous interviews to newspapers and radio stations, informing people of the plight of the Afghan people. **
2/26/98 WAPHA members participated in a Round Table discussion at VOA.
Since the beginning of 1998, WAPHA representatives have given various interviews to the Western media and Afghan media inside and outside the USA.
PAPER PRESENTATION AT SEMINARS, CONFERENCES AND OTHER ACADEMIC MEETINGS
1/29/98 Dr. Shorish-Shamley gave a Seminar " Health Status of Afghan Women Under the Taliban Rule " at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.
2/8/98 WAPHA representative organized a coalition of Afghan scholars and NGOs to mobilize the communities raise funds for disaster victims, for example, the earthquake victims in North of Afghanistan.
2/9/98 WAPHA representative met with a group of Students at George Washington University, Washington, D. C., discussing the historical events in Afghanistan since 1979 in general, with the focus on human rights and the refugees condition in Pakistan.
2/12/98 Shorish-Shamley presented a paper "Human rights in Islam and the Taliban Gender Apartheid Policies in Afghanistan" at Georgetown University, Washington, D. C. organized by the students.
2/21/98 Shorish-Shamley presented a paper "The Taliban's Policies of Gender-Apartheid, Feminization of Poverty, and Cultural Genocide" at conference "Women of Color and Allies Summit: Linking Arms in Dangerous Times" organized National Organization of Women, Washington, D C.
2/25/98 Shorish-Shamley presented a paper on the condition of Afghan people and the violations of human rights in Afghanistan and in refugee camps in Pakistan, in a briefing for the United nations agencies and the International NGO's. The briefing was hosted and organized by the International League for Human Rights, New York City, NY.
March 2, 1998 Shorish-Shamley testified at a briefing held by Senator Dianne Feinstein, United States Senate. The briefing was concerned with humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan focusing on women and children. The testimony discussed the human rights violations, health, education, work, and security conditions, both inside Afghanistan and in the refugee camps in Pakistan. She argued that the Afghan people's humanitarian crisis is in a dangerous state and in dire need of attention from the world community.
March 8-13, 1998, WAPHA participated and attended the meetings on the Commissions on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations, New York City, NY.
March 10, 1998, WAPHA participated in a panel entitled " In Our Own Voices: Afghan Women Speak." At the panel Shorish-Shamley presented a paper on human rights violations and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and in the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. She asked the United Nations and the world community to invest more funds in the areas of Afghan children's and adult's education and the area of health care, particularly mother and child care, immunization of children against childhood disease, and reproductive health education and care. She raised the issue of the lack of security in the refugee camps in Pakistan and the rape of women and girls by armed bands at night. She called on the United Nations to provide better protection for the refugees under the United Nations' charter for refugee protection. Other issues raised in the paper focused on forced marriages and forced prostitution of Afghan refugee women and girls in Pakistan. She also raised the issue discrimination and harassment of the Afghan refugees by the Pakistani police and official.
She also called for attention to the condition of the Afghan refugees in Iran. She pointed out the need for an extensive survey and a systematic study of the condition of the Afghan refugees in Iran concerning health, education, work and other related issues.
At the CSW meetings, Shorish-Shamley and other afghan NGOs met with Ms. Linda Tarr-Whelan the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. They discussed with the Ambassador the problems and concerns of the Afghan people, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and in the refugee camps, with a focus on rights of the Afghan women and children. Shorish-Shamley asked the Ambassador to arrange a meeting for them with Ms. Angela King, Assistant Secretary-General. WAPHA representative and other Afghan NGOs met with Ms. King, discussing the Afghan women's concern and issues.
At the CSW meetings Shorish-Shamley addressed the European delegates and the European Commission. She raised issues concerning the violations of human rights of Afghan women, men and children. The European delegations and the European Commission stated that would continue their support and defense of the Afghan women's human rights.
At the CSW meetings, WAPHA representative gave interviews to the United Nations radio programs on the Afghan issues in general and Afghan women's rights in particular. WAPHA’s representative also participated in an international multimedia conference, hosted from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, on March 12, 1998. The 60-minute conference, entitled "In Our Own Voices," includes the testimony of refugee women, reports from women in Peshawar, Pakistan with recent video clips, and Afghan women in Paris. The content of the conference focused on the condition and human rights of women in Afghanistan, Afghan refugee’s women in Pakistan, women in Algeria, Somalia and Russia.
March 23-27, 1998 Shorish- Shamley attended the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the United Nations, New York City, NY.
March 24, 1998, at a Press Conference organized by the Women's Caucus, she presented the Afghan women and girls' case and violence committed against them by the warring factions. WAPHA also joined the Women's Caucus and other NGO's, lobbying the government delegation to support the formation of the ICC.
April 6, 1998 Shorish-Shamley, representing WAPHA participated with other NGO's, in a meeting at the U. S., Department of State. The meeting was concerned with the needs of Afghan women NGO's and their empowerment through capacity building projects. Shorish-Shamley explained the desperate needs of the Afghan women and children concerning health and education both inside Afghanistan and outside in the refugee camps. She also explained the Afghan women's NGO's needs and ways in which they could be empowered.
April 15-24 Dr. Shorish-Shamley visited Rome, Italy from April 15-24. RAI Three (Italian National Television Networks) and Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS), an Italian NGO invited her. At RAI Three, Shorish-Shamley participated in program called "Film Vero, " or "True Story." The program context dealt with women in Islam and was filmed on April 17, 1998. Dr. Shorish-Shamley spoke about the rights of women in Islam and human rights in Islam. She pointed out the Taliban's misguided interpretation of Islam in Afghanistan as an example of how ignorance about the religion of Islam, patriarchy, tribal laws and traditions subjugates not only Muslim women but Muslim men and children as well in that society.
4/20/1998, Shorish-Shamley met with Mr. Gianfronco Varvesi, Deputy Foreign Minister for foreign relations of the Italian government. Ms. Daniela Colombo, president of AIDOS, arranged the meeting. Shorish-Shamley discussed with the Mr. Varvesi the condition of the Afghan women and children both inside Afghanistan and outside in the refugee camps. She pointed out the horrendous condition of women and children concerning health, education, work, forced marriages, reproductive health, reproductive rights and so on. She asked for immediate attention to these areas. She also pointed out the needs of the Afghan women NGO's and the necessity for their empowerment in order for them to continue their work and struggle.
4/21/1998 Shorish -Shamley addressed the Italian Presidenza Del Consiglio Del Minister and the Society for International Development. In both meetings she focused on the condition of the Afghan women and children both inside Afghanistan and outside in the refugee camps.
March 23, 1998, the Italian Association for women in Development (AIDOS) organized a press conference. Various Italian newspapers, journals, radio and television reporters were present at the conference. Shorish-Shamley talked about foreign interference’s in Afghanistan, proxy war, the privatization of the Afghan war by the multinational oil and gas companies, drug and gun trafficking, terrorist training in Afghanistan and so on. She focused on the human rights violations in Afghanistan and the condition the Afghan women and children both inside Afghanistan and outside in the refugee camps. She asked the government of Italy, the people of Italy, the European Commission, the European Union and the people of the world to continue their support of the Afghan women, children and men, in area of human rights and humanitarian assistance to help alleviate their suffering and pain and strengthen their struggle.
May 18-19, 1998, WAPHA representative attended a conference organized by the International Rule of Law Center, the George Washington University Law Center, Washington, DC. The conference was on Religious Fundamentalism and the Human Rights of Women. On May 20, 1998, Shorish-Shamley was a guest on the television and radio at Voice of America. The program which was broadcasted all over the world via short-wave radio and satellite for Television is live from 1: 00 PM to 2: 00 PM is called "Talk to America." The topic of discussion was Islam and Women.
We also participated, presented papers and worked with Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, at the International Criminal Court conferences both in New York City, in March 23-27, 1998 and in Rome, June 13 to July18, 1998.
August 19,1998 WAPHA attended a conference organized by the Afghanistan Foundation. From 9/18-20/98 Dr. Shorish-Shamley attended and presented a paper at a conference organized by the Afghan Women’s Counseling and Integration Community Support Organization, Toronto, Canada.
10/4-20/1998 Dr. Shorish-Shamley visited Karachi, Pakistan doing research among the Afghan refugees in the urban setting.
10/28/98 WAPHA attended a conference on the Afghan women issue organized by the Feminist Majority.
10/29/98 WAPHA attended a conference organized by the Afghanistan Foundation on the Afghan peace and unity process.
10/31/1998 WAPHA attended a meeting organized by the Unitarian Church concerning the Afghan Women’s issue. WAPHA representative spoke to the group about the plight of the Afghan women and children.
11/10/98 WAPHA representative attended a conference organized by the CSIS.
11/23/98 WAPHA representative attended and participated in a conference organized by Global Health Council for International Health.
12/3/98 Dr. Shorish-Shamley presented a paper at the American Anthropological Association Annual meeting on the empowerment of the Afghan refugee women.
12/ 7-9/ 1998 WAPHA representative attended and participated at a conference organized by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers university celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
12/9/1998 WAPHA representative participated as the translator for an Afghan woman who has been beaten by the Taliban in a mock Tribunal organized by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. WAPHA representative participated at vigil and rally on the 9 and10 speaking on behalf of the Afghan people.
Our Internet contacts include hundreds of organizations in the world. We send news and keep the people of the world informed on the human rights violations in Afghanistan.
LETTERS OF APPEAL:
Since its formation, WAPHA has sent numerous letters of appeal on behalf of the Afghan women, men and children, to various human rights groups, and NGO's including the Following agencies.
A) The United Nations: 1. His Excellency Kufi Annan- Secretary General to the United Nations. 2) Dr. Noebrt Holl- the Head of UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan. 3) Dr. Paik- UN Human Rights.
B) The United States: 1. The White House: President Clinton , Vice President Gore. 2) U. S. Department of State : Ms. Albright-Secretary of State. 3. The United States Senate, Senate Committee for Foreign Relations: Senator Sam Brownback-chairman of the Subcommittee for Near eastern and South Asian Affairs, Senator Robb-Ranking and various other members of the above mentioned subcommittee, and Senator Christopher Dodd 4. The United States House of Representative, Committee for International Relations: Congressman Douglas Bereuter-chairman of the Subcommittee for Asia and the Pacific, Congressman Gejdeson-Ranking and various other members of the above-mentioned subcommittee.
C) Foreign Embassies: Embassy of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, The People Republic of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
WAPHA has also signed on numerous letters of appeal from various NGOS to His Excellency Kofi Annan - Secretary General to the United Nations, President Clinton, State Department and the US Congress. The letters urge the United Nations, the United States and the world Community to defend and protect the human rights in Afghanistan, particularly the rights of Afghan women and girls. WAPHA has joined the European campaign against gender apartheid in Afghanistan.