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September 12, 2021

Afghanistan on the Brink: Risk Assessments for Women’s Rights, Cultural Heritage Preservation and Economic Relief

This panel of experts considers the urgency for women’s rights, cultural heritage preservation, and economic relief in Afghanistan. As of 2020, approximately 90% of Afghans lived below the poverty level of $2 per day, according to the US Congressional Research Service. At the same time, minerals generate just $1 billion in Afghanistan per year. Analysts estimate that 30% to 40% of returns are siphoned off by corruption as well as by warlords and the Taliban, which has presided over small mining projects. The World Bank warned that the economy remains "shaped by fragility and aid dependence.” Additionally, this panel will explore how climate change has served as a threat multiplier for conflict and regional instability. Despite these obstacles, experts will share insights on how to move beyond the current situation to harness potential for female education, women’s economic empowerment, and cultural heritage preservation. Information will be shared on how to assist those impacted directly.


Welcome and Introduction

  • Beth K. Whittenbury, Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Principal, Beth K. Whittenbury & Associates


  • Rukhsar Azamee, Media Officer, International Law Association American Branch
  • Dr. Nafay Choudhury, Junior Research Fellow, St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge
  • Aleena Jun Nawabi, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, CAIR California San Diego
  • Mohsin Khan, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council; Former Middle East and Central Asia Director, International Monetary Fund
  • John F. Sopko, Inspector General, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction


  • Nadia Ahmad, Associate Professor of Law, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law; Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Council Member, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Co-Chair, Environmental Justice Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
  • Kristi Disney Bruckner, Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law; Executive Director, Sustainable Development Strategies Group

Co-Sponsors: ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic JusticeABA Commission on Women in the ProfessionABA International Law Section


What We Need to Learn: Lessons from 20 Years of Afghanistan Reconstruction

Request Letter of September 10, 2021 from House Committee on Oversight and Reform

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