Audrey Roberts

Audrey Roberts (Afghan Women's Network's - AWN) Audrey received her BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2003. While working toward a MA in socio-cultural anthropology from Columbia University in 2006, she liaised between the UN and civil society in Haiti during an internship with the United Nations Association-Haiti. After receiving her MA in 2006, Audrey worked with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Belgrade (Democratization Department).



WORKING FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN

17 Jun

“Afghanistan may be the only country in the world where during the last century kings and politicians have been made and undone by struggles relating to women’s status,” scholar Huma Ahmed-Gosh aptly states. Frequently, the historical positions of Afghan women are only understood in terms of during the Taliban and after the Taliban. These terms erase the very complicated history of women’s rights in Afghanistan. This fight has been ongoing since at least the late 1800s. Some of the earliest attempts at emancipation and social reform in the Muslim world took place in Afghanistan. This complicated history was what drove me to want to work for the largest national women’s rights organization in Afghanistan.

Last week, I met AWN’s Executive Director, A. Within one hour of beginning a conversation with her about my role at AWN, she proposed that I stay with AWN for 2 years or so. What an unanticipated suggestion! A argued that if one really cares about women’s rights in Afghanistan than one will stay for the long term. At this time it is not realistic for me to consider staying in Afghanistan for the long-term. I was frank and honest with A.

The Advocacy Project’s Fellowship program was conceived for short-term placement of Fellows with AP’s partners all over the world, I explained. While explaining what I could do for AWN in the short-term, I found myself agreeing with her.

And yet, how do you measure conviction? The amount of time you devote to something?

Upon reflection, I truly believe that it’s not how long you spend working on something, but how you choose to spend your time.

I will revisit this blog posting at the end of my Fellowship.

Posted By Audrey Roberts

Posted Jun 17th, 2007

2 Comments

  • Eric Price

    January 24, 2008

     

    You made the right decision:the best way to be generous and helpful is, strangely, to be frugal and self serving. In advocacy,(a subject that you know a thing or two about)this is called “sustainability”. It means that whatever efforts you make today can be sustained into the future. The U.S. Marine Corp has a saying that sums this philosophy up very well, I think: if you can’t help yourself, you can’t help anyone else. By doing what you could reasonably do to to help, and not over-promising, you prevented the perfect from becoming the enemy of the good, and actually made a significant, and positive, change in many peoples’ lives.

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