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Women, Resistance and Governance: An Event for International Women’s Day

08/03/2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

This event has now concluded. You can watch the recording below.

International Women’s Day, 8 March, 1-2.15pm with Shuhra Koofi , Dr Tahirih Danesh and  Dr Althea-Maria Rivas 

Infection-control measures such as lockdowns following the 2020 declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected women and girls, particularly those in LMICs. Around the world, millions of women and girls were pushed out of education and employment and into unsafe situations, reversing decades of hard-won progress. An estimated 7 million unintended pregnancies have been attributed to COVID-19 lockdowns. Oxfam reports that 1.3 million more child marriages are projected to take place by 2030 as a result of school lockdowns. Maternal deaths have risen by between 8 and 39% per month in LMICs due to cuts in perinatal care.

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban has been disastrous for the economic development of the country, although of course its impact is most keenly felt by women and girls who the Taliban are determined to erase from the public sphere, denying them access to even the most basic provision of education and healthcare. In Iran, protests that followed the brutal killing of 22 year-old Mahsa Amini by the so-called ‘morality police’ last year have led to mass killings and waves of detentions of those protesting under the slogan ‘Woman, Life, Freedom.’


Both online and offline, women and girls are seeing our rights eroded. The latest  UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report shows that women’s exclusion from the digital world shaves $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs.) Without remedial action, this figure will soar to $1.5 trillion by 2025. Women and girls who are in the relatively privileged position of having access to digital technology often find they encounter discrimination and violence there too. How can we strengthen resistance to gender-based repression?

Join the conversation: come to our webinar 8 March. We are honoured to host dynamic and inspiring women for this online discussion: Shuhra Koofi (UCL IoE) and Althea Maria Rivas (SOAS) and Dr Tahirih Danesh. Register now to join the conversation.

About our speakers:

Shuhra Koofi left her native Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban take-over in 2021. Since then, Shuhra has worked with the Afghan Women’s Coalition for Change (AWCC) which was was established by Afghan women leaders, activists, and feminists in the UK in February 2022 to advocate for the rights of women in Afghanistan. Since arriving in the UK, Shurah has enrolled on an MA in Education and International Development with University College London.  She aims to use her skills to work for equality Education in Afghanistan and hopes to see every Afghan women and every Afghan girl win back their fundamental human rights, including their right to  Education.



Dr Tahirih T Danesh teaches Human Rights law. She grew up being inspired by courageous role models of her native Iran. Following her escape to the west, she has lived and worked within diverse global cultures.  She leads and assists a number of charities and civil society organisations and welcomes opportunities to promote learning.

Tahirih is passionate about supporting and advocating for marginalised and minority communities. She is an entrepreneur, an advocate of the United Nations Global Compact Principles and a member of The 30% Club. She holds a PhD in law and has contributed to a range of publications,  particularly around human rights, policy and education. She believes in elevating shared consciousness through practical approaches to complex processes.



About our moderator:

Dr Althea-Maria Rivas is Senior Lecturer in Global Development, Peace & Conflict at SOAS, University of London. Her work draws on  critical, feminist and decolonial theoretical frameworks and employs innovative grounded methodologies, such as photovoice, storying and narratives to explore debates in the field of conflict, security and development. Most of her research focuses on Afghanistan, Liberia and Somalia. She joined SOAS in 2019  after holding posts at York University (Toronto) and the University of Sussex. After completing her PhD in Development Studies at Sussex University, which was supported by the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, Althea-Maria took up a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Centre for Development Studies, Department of Social and Policy Studies, University of Bath.

Her research focuses on exploring the politics of development, conflict, humanitarian intervention and peace through the lens of the everyday.   A central theme in her work is intersectionality, specifically the racialised and gendered nature of processes of aid, post-conflict reconstruction and social justice.

This event will be recorded. It is free to attend but registration is mandatory. Please register here

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Charine John, LIDC.

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