Jean Monnet Lecture: Dr. Massouda Jalal

On Tuesday, 22nd of March, CERiM had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Massouda Jalal to deliver a Jean Monnet Lecture in Maastricht. The lecture, The Current Situation of Afghanistan and Its Impact on Women happened at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Dr. Massouda Jalal has been an active independent politician in Afghanistan for the last 26 years, who served as Minister of Women's Affairs and head of Commission for Elimination of Violence against Women from October 2004 to 2006. In 2004, she became the first and only woman candidate in 5000 years of Afghanistan history to run in the Afghan presidential elections. She is titled in recent Afghan history as the mother of Afghan democracy.

Dr. Jalal left the cabinet in 2006 and has since vocally criticized the Karzai and Ghani governments for not significantly advancing the social position of women. She founded the Jalal Foundation as a leading civil society organization and network for the promotion of peace, human rights, women’s rights and democracy from 2006 up to now.

She also has an academic background as a professor at Kabul Medical University and served in leadership positions in the UN World Food Programme and UNHCR offices in Afghanistan, leading women and health programmes during the nineties.

Dr. Jalal has received numerous awards nationally and internationally, and has published books and articles on mainly rights, democracy, peace and security. An example is her book Hanging by a Thread. After the Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021, Dr. Jalal was forced to go into exile to the Netherlands.

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