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Giving a voice to Afghan women

Samina Ansari
Samina graduated from the School of International Affairs (PSIA) in 2018. Today she is the Executive Director of the Women's center based at The American University of Afghanistan. She also teaches Gender and Afghan Politics. Her main role is giving Afghan women economic opportunities and a voice to participate in the debates of peace negociations. Discover her testimonial.

What are your missions ?

Samina Ansari (S.A) - What we do at the center is basically work on women’s economic empowerment. One of the projects we have is helping Afghan women start their own businesses, focusing on Afghan minerals to improve the country’s economy. 

At the same time, I also teach at the university. I teach Gender and Afghan Politics. Today we talk a lot about the role of Afghan women and the peace negotiations with the Taliban. We talk about gender mainstreaming and politics, and we talk about the politics of the region.

What were your motivations to build this project ?

Samina Ansari (S.A) - I was born in Afghanistan but because of the many conflicts, I did not have the chance to live in the country and give back to the country. So, after graduating from Sciences Po, I felt that I was ready to take ownership and actually go back to Afghanistan to work specifically with women because women tend to be outside a conflict resolution. And now because there are peace negotiations with the Taliban, women need to have a role. Not only in Afghanistan is this an issue but globally as well. Women tend to be outside a conflict resolution but at the center of a conflict. So through my work, I give women agency, I give them economic opportunity and I give them a voice to actually participate in the debates and give back to the society the same way I am trying to give back to the society.

How did Sciences Po help you?

Samina Ansari (S.A) - Sciences Po and PSIA (School of International Affairs) gave me a lot of liberty and freedom to choose my courses tailored to my passion. So, I chose a lot of courses related to Afghanistan, women’s rights and gender mainstreaming. For one of my courses, I actually wrote an entire project paper on how to improve the condition of Afghan women using the private sector. And at the same time, interaction with smart students and intelligent professors who were really there for us to utilize and use and get to our mission.

Your advice for students

Samina Ansari (S.A) - So, one of my personal takeaways after leaving Sciences Po Paris and basically moving to Kabul in Afghanistan, in a war zone, has been to keep in touch with my fellow students and my fellow professors. And I work very closely with some of the students I went to school with at Sciences Po. Very recently, I worked on a paper focusing on French women’s revolution and comparing it to the Afghan women’s revolution today. And, you know, having that collaboration has been very helpful. And I am coming back now to Sciences Po Paris as my home, as a place that I actually go and collect myself.

Learn more

The Women's Center of American University of Afghanistan

School of International Affairs (PSIA)

Crédit photo :
Samina Ansari © Sciences Po Carrières

Mise à jour 27/11/2019
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