The Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO) is an independent, non-governmental, non-partisan and non-profit organization working to promote human rights and democracy through engaging a variety of arts, and culture-based programs; creating space for dialogue at all levels of society, peace-building, social justice, societal transformation and public participation.
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Public Memories Campaign; support justice for war victims’ in Afghanistan
Following the Ibnisena University and Embassy events, we were approached by a number of victims associations from around the capital. They asked us to initiate a public campaign:  to rename a street and a square in Kabul in memory of Afghanistan’s war victims. Our objective was to collect 10000 signatures from across society, including war victims’ families, members of parliament and government officials at ministerial levels.
Future Exhibitions and a Memorandum of Understanding
After the Canadian Embassy event we organized a number of follow-up meetings with those who attended. One of the outcomes of this was the creation of a Memorandum Of Understanding between AHRDO and the Ministry of Information and Culture (signed 4th June 2013). This agreement had two central aims:
  1. The staging of a joint exhibition in support of memorialization, one that would acknowledge the suffering of victims of war
  2. The installation of a number of Memory Boxes in the National Archive, to be protected there as a legacy of war, thereby contributing to a national memorialization of Afghanistan’s recurring conflicts
AHRDO Policy Event
With reference to the high profile Memory Box Exhibition at Ibni-e Sina University: On 25th March 2013, we brought a number of policy makers and stakeholders together to discuss the future. The event, which took place at the Canadian Embassy, questioned how we could take the Memory Box Initiative forward, both nationally and internationally. Over 100 participants attended, including civil society activists, High Peace Council members, representatives of the diplomatic community and various government officials. While the University event was largely about raising awareness, this one was specifically targeted at changing government policy.
AHRDO “Public Memory” Initiatives
In January 2013 AHRDO held a two-day exhibition at Ibni-e Sina University in Kabul, open to members of the public. The exhibition consisted of 20 Memory Boxes, created by women from various ethnic groups and provinces across the country, and a selection of books that had once featured in the National Library. These books had been badly damaged during the Civil War.
Afghan Women after the Taliban: Will History Repeat It Self?
This policy report has analyzed Afghan women’s problems through an historical perspective. Attempts have been made to identify the social forces that have resisted persistently against women’s forward movement. The religious and socio-tribal conservative forces have historically pushed back women’s rights, thereby serving as brakes and impediments to their development. Inherent to women’s rights under-development has been involution of women’s socio-political activism into a nation-wide movement to advocate, bargain and defend their rights as an independent force. These problems have continued to affect women in post-Taliban Afghanistan. The religious and social conservative forces, dominating the legislature, have vociferously struggled to block pro-women legislation and women’s rights activism is yet to transform into a reliable movement.

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