April 30, 2020 - Virtual Presentation : United Nations

The Secret to Real Security in Afghanistan

Georgetown University

Lasting and sustainable peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through a fully inclusive process that features women and women’s issues as central to both the negotiations and the implementation of a post-conflict settlement. To explore options and develop new proposals to achieve this critical objective, Georgetown University’s Master of Science of Foreign Service (MSFS) program is collaborating with Women Forward International (WFI) on an exciting new program entitled Waging Peace in Afghanistan.  

Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service 

An MSFS graduate seminar of 16 students will spend a semester focused on the future of Afghanistan and the vital role that women’s leadership must play in building the foundations of peace. As part of their research, the students hold virtual sessions to interview officials on the margins of the Afghan Peace Talks and negotiations currently underway there and to meet with various Afghan women leaders and change-makers



Two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) led by Afghan women and focused on the protection and empowerment of Afghan women will serve as Clients to help guide the students’ research toward practical steps that can be implemented in the near term. These NGOs are Women for Afghan Women (WAW) and Women’s Activities and Social Services Association (WASSA). Representatives from WAW and WASSA who are currently working in provincial regions of Afghanistan will travel to Doha and participate in interviews and other project-related activities.  


Deliverables and Impact

Women Forward International will host a virtual workshop with Georgetown University and the United Nations (UNITAR) where the students will present the results of their research along with their proposals for the future. The student report will be published by UNITAR and the presentation will be attended by special guest speakers including international dignitaries whose work is relevant to the Afghan peace process.

Project Blogs - Real Security in Afghanistan

Distinguished Speakers for our Virtual Event :

Palwasha L. Kakar, Senior Program Officer, Religion and Inclusive Societies at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP)

Kakar joined USIP after four years with The Asia Foundation where she was the Afghanistan director for Women’s Empowerment and Development. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kakar led the Gender Mainstreaming and Civil Society Unit in the United Nation Development Program's Afghanistan Subnational Governance Program managing a small grants program for Afghanistan's civil society initiatives. Kakar also served as program manager for The Gender Studies Institute at Kabul University. She has experience working with the World Bank Group on gender, social justice and environmental issues surrounding their various projects in the region.

Kakar has published research regarding women’s participation in local governance, Pashtunwali-Afghan customary law, Afghan women's identity, and social spaces in Afghanistan. 

She earned a Master's degree focusing on gender, politics and religion from Harvard University’s Divinity School and a Bachelor's degree in Religion and Global Studies focusing on peace and conflict from Bethel College in North Newton, KS.


©2019 Women Forward International. All Rights Reserved

Women Forward International is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation