Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate for Women and Girls Devon Cone:
“Refugees International is pleased that Afghan women’s rights activist Mahbouba Seraj, together with Iranian human rights’ activist Narges Mohammadi, have just been nominated for the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. Ms. Seraj fled Afghanistan as a refugee more than 40 years ago. She returned to Afghanistan in 2003 and has been fighting for women’s rights ever since.
Afghanistan has seen a dramatic backslide in women’s rights since the Taliban takeover of the country in August 2021. The Taliban has issued more than 40 edicts denying women and girls some of the most basic human rights such as the right to go to school, to work, and to travel, all in an attempt to erase them from public life. These egregious violations of human rights are against the backdrop of a humanitarian crisis and massive food insecurity throughout the country. Ms. Seraj has been in Kabul through all of this turmoil. And she has been unwavering in her support and protection for Afghan women and girls; a population that is facing increasingly daunting challenges and risks.
In 2022, Refugees International honored Ms. Seraj with our Exceptional Service Award to recognize her courageous and consistent advocacy. She gave a powerful acceptance speech which helped bring greater awareness to the plight of Afghan women and girls, a plight that has become even more dire since then. Refugees International continues to advocate for the rights and protection of Afghan women and girls. It is a top priority of our organization, and we are inspired by the work of Ms. Seraj. Mahbouba Seraj’s work is as important as it ever has been, and we applaud the Peace Institute Research Oslo (PRIO) for highlighting her extraordinary efforts.”
Photo Caption: Mahbouba Seraj in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 23, 2021. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)