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2019 Woman of Distinction: Gharsanay IbnulAmeen


The NGO Committee on the Status of Women/New York is proud to announce Ms. Gharsanay IbnulAmeen as the 2019 Woman of Distinction. Her award will be given at NGO CSW63 Consultation Day on Sunday, March 10th from 9AM to 3:30PM at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (Borough of Manhattan Community College).

Every year this award is given to a woman in recognition of her leadership in the struggle for gender equality, human rights, female empowerment and leadership. We are also proud to honor Ms. IbnulAmeen’s advocacy for female education, political and civic activities and mentorship opportunities. NGO CSW/NY is a global coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals. We organize the annual NGO CSW Forum and sponsor more than 400 Side and Parallel Events. Member states attending the Commission on the Status of Women host the Side Events in the UN. Thousands from many nations attend. Ms. IbnulAmeen, 22, is our youngest recipient. She is Co-founder of the Afghan Girls Sustainable Education Project, the Global Youth Development program and Team Ambassador in the Everywoman Everywhere Project. The programs provide opportunities for young women to connect with professionals in business and education and peers from other nations fostering both academic and professional development with leadership skills. Ms. IbnulAmeen heads the Young Women’s Leadership Conference in Afghanistan organizing and implementing capacity building workshops for more than 1000 participants. She engages diverse stakeholders including the President of Afghanistan and local tribal elders to work together to strengthen female access to education and political and civic participation. Ms. IbnulAmeen recently worked with the Afghan national government to bring in more than 5000 youth to the Afghan’s Presidential Palace to have women participate and have a voice in peace building, poverty reduction and working toward a more progressive national and local government public policies. Other accomplishments include receiving the 2017 Emerging Young Leader’s Award from the U.S. State Department, the Responsible Citizen Award from the First Lady of Afghanistan and 2018 One Young World Enterprise for Peace Scholar. On Consultation Day join us in honoring Ms.IbnulAmeen and listen to her experiences and insights to empower women and girls.


BIOGRAPHY OF GHARSANAY IBNULAMEEN, NGO CSW/NY's 2019 WOMEN OF DISTINCTION Gharsanay IbnulAmeen, the winner of the 2019 Woman of Distinction Award presented annually by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/NY, is a 22-year-old grassroots organizer from Afghanistan recognized for her work in girls' education, leadership and ethnic harmony. Currently she is a Special Assistant to the President of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Ashraf Ghani. She and the team working with her brought more than 5000 youth in Afghanistan to the Presidential Palace where they worked on women’s participation in the peace process, security, poverty reduction, administrative reforms and combating terrorism, extremism and corruption. Co-founder of the Afghan Girls Sustainable Education Project, Gharsanay worked in Jalalabad to increase the enrollment and the school completion rate of girls, especially in secondary education. She worked with tribal elders of 21 districts to talk about their role in supporting girls’ education and asking them to raise their voices for gender equality and women’s leadership. Bad customs against women, especially in rural areas, Gharsanay stated, should stop. Gharsanay is the Coordinator of the Young Women’s Leadership Conference for girls aged 14-19, the first such program in secondary schools. Participants were assigned community service programs, action plan development, activities on overcoming ethnic discrimination and other important leadership lessons. Successful conferences have been held in Kabul, Bamyan, Nangarhar, Ghor, Samangan, Deh Sabz district of Kabul, Mazar, Kandahra Farhar and Heart provinces with more than 1000 participants, many of them rural women. Among the topics covered are needs assessment and community mapping, confidence building, networking, STEM, ethnic harmony, peacemaking and capacity building. In addition, Gharsanay organized the first model UN in Afghanistan. As Team Ambassador in the Everywoman Everywhere Project, she is developing the first international Treaty on Violence Against Women. Gharsanay is also the co-founder of the Global Youth Development Initiative in which students are connected to professional and peer mentors from across the world for academic advising and international exposure. Many awards and scholarships have been bestowed on Gharsanay: the Emerging Young Leader’s Award 2017 by the U.S. State Department; the Second-Degree Promotion from the President of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Ashraf Ghani; the Responsible Citizen Award by the H.E. First Lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani; the Enterprise for Peace Scholarship representing Afghanistan in the One Young World Summit, 2018; the Generation Change Fellowship, a two-year abroad fellowship by the United States Institute of Peace. She is a graduate of AUAF with high honors and honor awards and is a finalist for the 2019-2020 Fulbright. Finally, in Gharsanay IbnulAmeen’s words: “This is a great opportunity … that I as a young Afghan woman [can] change the narrative about Afghanistan and show this beautiful and prosperous side of Afghanistan to the world …. It will be a representation of the strength of Afghan women and an opportunity for their voices to be heard across the world”.

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