Taliban Flag, © Aadil Ahmad

Afghanistan: Six months after the disaster Women's Oppression and Humanitarian Tragedy

The Danish Refugee Council's Diaspora Programme (DRC DP) and the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (VIDC) have the pleasure to invite you to a hybrid event on Women's Oppression and Humanitarian Tragedy in Afghanistan.

Time and location

3 March 2022, 18:00 – 20:00
Diplomatic Academy, Favoritenstraße 15A, 1040 Vienna


This event will take place in cooperation with the Danish Refugee Council and is supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation as well as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The event will also be streamed live on the VIDC and DRC Facebook channels.

Livestream on the Facebook pages of VIDC and the DRC Diaspora Program

Language: English with simultaneous interpretation into German (livestream only in English

The current COVID-19 protection measures of Vienna and the federal government apply (vaccinated or recovered). We also ask you to observe the spacing rules. As a general rule, masks must be worn at all times during the event.

A binding registration for participation in the Diplomatic Academy is necessary and is on a first come-first serve basis.

Registration: [email protected]


At the event we will discuss the humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan and how to respond to it. What does the Taliban takeover of the country mean for the rights and perspectives of women in Afghanistan? What can the Afghan diaspora do to address the humanitarian as well as Afghan women’s problems? What does the takeover mean for the ethnic minorities in Afghanistan? What approaches do humanitarian organizations have to support the Afghan people? What are the expectations from the current negotiations between the USA and the European states with the Taliban?

It seems that the Taliban regime has consolidated politically after taking power on 15 August 2021 - both internally and externally, as the current negotiations with the Taliban in Oslo show. But the withdrawal of US-led international troops from Afghanistan and the return of the Taliban to power after 20 years of brutal insurgency have destroyed the gains of the last two decades. The achievements of two decades were in the areas of social, economic and political sphere despite of cultural and security challenges. More than any other group in Afghanistan, women benefited from western intervention, advanced their social and political freedom and their story was one of the success stories of the U.S. invasion. Now with the Taliban in power, most of those achievements have disappeared and hundreds of women activists, human and women’s rights defenders, politicians, journalists, female judges and women from Afghan civil society have fled the country for fearing of retribution and persecution.

In addition, there is a humanitarian catastrophe in country, as Jared Rowell, Country Director for DRC in Afghanistan pointed out: “Quite a large number of Afghans have left the country or want to leave. But at the end of the day, there will still be 40 million people in Afghanistan requiring attention and services as well. We need to also focus on their needs, and those needs are escalating dramatically these days.”


  • Heela Najibullah
    Expert on Reconciliation and Social Healing in Afghanistan, University of Zurich
  • Horia Mosadiq
    Afghan human rights activist, London
  • Jared Rowell
    Country Director for DRC Afghanistan (digitally connected from Kabul)
  • Chair: Ali Ahmad
    Danube University Krems/ VIDC Global Dialogue
  • Opening: Michael Fanizadeh
    VIDC Global Dialogue

Curated by

Ali Ahmad and Michael Fanizadeh