Afghan Global Diaspora Council
PO Box 321 Endeavour Hills Vic
Date: April 12, 2023
Chair, the Nobel Committee
Hentick Ibsens Gate 61, 0255 Oslo
Dear Berit Reiss-Anderson,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Afghan Global Diaspora Council (AGDC), and it’s affiliated as well as some partner organizations (logos attached). The AGDC is a non-profit organization registered in Melbourne Australia whose membership includes nearly 100 scholars, professionals, writers, human rights activists, and women’s rights leaders in the diaspora, primarily in western countries. The AGDC is also an umbrella organization representing over 60 Afghan diaspora community associations including 28 civil society/community associations and political organizations within Afghanistan that are committed to promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.
One of our organization’s strategic priorities is supporting the cause of Afghan women, i.e. women’s civil rights and liberties including their access to education and employment. We are very pleased that one of our compatriots, Ms. Mahbouba Seraj, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023. We are elated that she has been short-listed for this nomination.
We know Ms. Seraj for her decades-long dedication to and support for democratic principles and social justice. We specifically admire her devotion to women’s empowerment in Afghanistan. We wholeheartedly support her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize because she is a very deserving candidate in her own rights, but we also believe that her winning the prize will bring the most needed attention to the struggle and strife of the repressed women of Afghanistan.
We have established and maintained an ongoing dialogue with Ms. Seraj on this and other issues of shared concerns including the current humanitarian and political situations in Afghanistan and the role the diaspora can play in assisting the people of Afghanistan and the international community in tackling current challenging situations.
Ms. Seraj is an individual of high regard among Afghans. She is an impressive, inspiring, and well-respected women leader who has cultivated a compelling credibility, particularly during the last two decades.
During the corruption-ridden administration of the previous regime, many government officials and parliamentarians put their credentials and name recognition in the service of foreign contractors and NGOs as ‘project-pushers,’ i.e. ‘unofficial lobbyists’ who lined their pockets and purses through such get-rich-fast schema. That’s what sent droves to the opposition either as supporters or sympathizers eventually leading to the downfall of the government. All that time, Ms. Seraj kept her integrity intact and unblemished as she served the suppressed and abused women of Afghanistan.
Ms. Seraj’s devotion to democracy and human rights and specifically to the empowerment of women in Afghanistan is most admired. Through her extensive experience in working and networking with organizations such as the Afghan Women Skill Development Center (AWSDC) and the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) on a range of issues from protecting and supporting victims of domestic violence, to children’s health, and fighting corruption and so on has had a great impact on the lives of Afghan women.
While the nomination of Ms. Seraj for the Nobel Peace Prize is a great honor in and of itself, her winning of the peace prize would be even more significant for the women of Afghanistan. This is particularly important at a time when the United Nations has recognized Afghanistan under the Taliban as “the world’s most repressive country for women.” The nomination and potential winning of the Nobel Peace prize by an Afghan woman would draw much-needed attention to the plight of Afghan women by the international community. In essence, that possibility would be a win both for Afghanistan and for Afghan women.
In closing, I wish the Nobel nomination committee success in choosing the most deserving candidate as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2023.