Women in Afghanistan: Engagement or Abandonment?

A panel of women with a stake in Afghanistan discuss the challenge of communicating issues around this high-risk segment of the Afghan population following last year’s withdrawal of western forces and the Taliban takeover. Canadian Press editor Colette Derworiz (moderator); former journalist Catherine Lang, the aunt of Michelle Lang, the only Canadian journalist killed in Afghanistan; and Murwarid Ziayee, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) Senior Director responsible for program management, and supporting public engagement outreach and fund development, discuss their views on our ethical responsibility to help Afghan women and what we can do to successfully re-engage.

Colette Derworiz is an award-winning journalist whose portfolio includes nearly 18 years of reporting on the environment, health, social issues, politics and education for the Calgary Herald. She now works for The Canadian Press in Edmonton as a reporter and editor, and does some freelance writing, editing and public speaking on the side.

Catherine Lang is the author of O-bon in Chimunesu: A Community Remembered, winner of the Hubert Evans nonfiction award in 1997. She worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer and editor. A Victoria, B.C. resident, Catherine is writing a memoir about the loss of her niece – award winning journalist, Michelle Lang. Catherine is a member of CW4WAfghan.

Murwarid Ziayee is Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) Senior Director responsible for program management, and supporting public engagement outreach and fund development, while maintaining strong connections between the country office in Kabul. Murwarid has a BA in Political Science and Law from Kabul University. Prior to moving to Canada in 2018, Murwarid was CW4WAfghan’s Country Director in Kabul for 7 years, managing Country Office and overseeing the implementation of programs and projects. Before joining CW4Wafghan, she worked with United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as a National Human Rights Officer. She has worked closely with the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs and served the Office of the President as Program Officer with a focus on analysis of women’s rights issues. She is a leader and advocate for women’s rights and the recipient of the CW4Wafghan Champion for Education Award (2015). This award is in recognition of her many achievements, her dedication, knowledge and passion for advancing education for Afghan women and girls.

Farida Nekzad is an award-winning Afghan journalist and the Director of the Center for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists. A co-founder and news manager of Pajhwok Afghan, she has trained about 2,000 journalists and students in Afghanistan and opened three radio stations for female students and journalists in three Afghanistan provinces. She has a diploma in journalism and a bachelor's degree in business and administration from Kabul University.

The 2nd Annual Conference on Communication Ethics is brought to you by the School of Communication & Culture at Royal Roads University.

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