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EWI Honors Afghan and Pakistani Women Parliamentarians
In September 2012 the EastWest Institute honored Dr. Fehmida Mirza and Ms. Shinkai Karokhail with the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Values-based Leadership Award. Dr. Mirza is the first woman Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan and thereby the first female Speaker in the Muslim world. Ms. Karokhail is member of the Afghan Parliament and of the Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention. Both parliamentarians received the award for their strong advocation of women’s rights.
The award is named after H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the wife of the late Sheikh Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, who founded the first UAE women’s organization in 1973: the Abu Dhabi Society for the Awakening of Women.
Personal Statement from MP Shinkai Karokhail Upon Receiving the Leadership Award
Dear fellow parliamentarians, dear friends of the Network,
Let me thank the EastWest Institute for its interest in and support for developing the Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention. No one can understand the importance of peace and the values of such a network better than Afghans.
My particular interest as a member of this Network is to work to further the trust building program between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
We have suffered from conflict inside the country and in our region. Even the regional conflicts have a direct impact on the stability of my country. In any conflict women are always the first victims.
As parliamentarians, that is to say as representatives of our people, we have the responsibility to play a role in the stability of our countries and region. Our actions should reflect the values of the people, who want peace, stability, equal opportunities, and an accountable executive and judiciary system. Our people expect us to advocate for these goals and help our country achieve them.
Countries such as Afghanistan with a patriarchal system discourage women’s involvement and engagement in politics and public life: women are not considered to be equal citizens or given the chance to play a role in managing national and regional issues of public interest. Even when women make significant contributions on a political level, they are not properly appreciated or recognized.
Such an attitude also discourages the international community’s involvement with Afghan women. Thanks to the Parliamentarians Network and its work on Women, Peace and Security, I feel supported. The Network gives us parliamentarians the opportunity to reach out to our counterparts from all over the world and strengthen our effectiveness as representatives of the people.
On September 27, 2012, I received the H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Values-based Leadership Award from the EastWest Institute. EWI was the first organization who recognized my work and appreciated it without any recommendations on how to conduct my work.
It has encouraged me and given me more reasons to contribute to my country, because it reminds me that there are people who do appreciate hard work, even if it is done by women.
MP Afghan Parliament Wolesi Jirga
Recipient of 2012 H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Values-based Leadership Award