(link) On May 19, 2011 the Afghan Trusted Network and Pepperdine University co-hosted the 2011 Afghan Symposium for Humanitarian and Leadership Engagement attended by NGO, government and private sector leaders currently engaged in supporting Afghanistan to highlight best practices and recommendations for women helping women, mothers and children in Afghanistan. The Afghan Trusted Network’s commitment to empowering women in Afghanistan is steadfast while leaders worry that the US will ratchet down its assistance.
Afghan Trusted Network Director, Ms. Rosalie J. Wyatt, proposed an initiative in collaboration with League for Hope and other partners, the Women’s Trust, to empower women in Afghanistan through a process and guidelines for local initiatives that leverage local solutions and norms to serve as a catalyst for changing the culture to view women as valued partners throughout society. The proposed Afghan Women’s Trust is an example of a new approach that Honorary Chairman Mrs. Doris Buffett challenged the Afghan Trusted Network to produce; “As daunting as this may be, women of the world must think big, act boldly and work together to leverage assets and combine every small victory into a scalable template for others to use; a template that is adaptable to existing programs, and that rewards enterprise while embracing tradition and promotes a new paradigm of the economic, cultural and social importance of women and children to the future of Afghanistan.” A follow-up meeting will take place in Washington, DC to further develop the initiative.
The 2011 Afghan Symposium Co-Hosts include Fatema Laya Bayat (Bayat Foundation); Caroline Firestone (New Hudson Foundation); 2011 Afghan Trusted Network Co-Chairs Jessica Kruvant (Creative Associates International); Diana Rowan Rockefeller (Afghan Women Leaders Connect); Qasim Tarin (Afghan Business Network); and Charter Member Co-Chairs Hon.David Aufhauser (Williams & Connolly); Jeb Carney (League for Hope); and Ajmal Ghani A. (Afghan Sports Federation).