Zarqa Yaftali

Ms. Zarqa Yaftali has more than 12 years of experience advocating for the rights of women and children and in 2019, was the recipient of the prestigious 2019 N-Peace Award from the UN Development Programme, which recognizes the contributions of peacebuilders toward implementation of the WPS agenda. She is also a member of various national civil society organizations and advocacy groups, including the Secretariat of the Civil Society Joint Task Force and the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN). Ms. Yaftali is recognized for her tireless advocacy for women’s meaningful participation in the current peace process in Afghanistan. Her organization has also produced important legal research on violence and discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan as well as field research on girls’ education in the country.

"Peace cannot come at the cost of women’s rights. All we have achieved hangs in the balance in the current negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government...We therefore urge the international community, including global and regional institutions, member states and donor countries, to exercise your responsibility to ensure that none of the parties involved, including the Taliban, restrict women's human rights, civil liberties or citizenship in any way."

At the Security Council

Ms. Zarqa Yaftali was selected to represent civil society at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security in October 2020. She spoke in her capacity as a women's rights activist, as Executive Director of the Women and Children Legal Research Foundation, and on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.