Goldin welcomes Afghan women’s rights advocate to State House
Noorjahan Akbar visited to speak at Lincoln School
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Gayle L. Goldin hosted Noorjahan Akbar, an outspoken women’s rights advocate from Afghanistan, for a visit to the State House yesterday along with students from Lincoln School in Providence, where she delivered a speech later in the day.
The Kabul native is the founder of Free Women Writers, a collective of Afghan women writers and students working for gender equality in Afghanistan and has advocated for women’s rights in Afghanistan since she was a teenager. She visited Lincoln School to speak last night as part of its Visiting Speaker Series and to participate in the school’s annual celebration of International Women’s Day today.
Senator Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence), whose district includes the school, has partnered with Lincoln School to arrange the State House visit.
“Noorjahan Akbar is a brave woman who works with unwavering determination against overwhelming oppression to improve women’s rights in her country. Her strength, courage and tremendous commitment to bettering life for women in Afghanistan make her a shining example of a young leader who truly persists against long odds to change society’s norms for the better. I hope her example will inspire young women here in Providence and around the world to never take no for an answer when it comes to equal rights,” said Senator Goldin. “By inviting Ms. Akbar and students to the State House, my hope is that young women in Rhode Island will learn that they are never too young to take action on behalf of equal rights, across the world and right here in Rhode Island.”
Akbar is a longtime champion of women’s rights, working for equal access to education, and working with local and global organizations to further women’s economic and social empowerment. She has organized protests and worked with local and global organizations focusing on women’s social and economic empowerment. She was one of Glamour magazine’s College Women of the Year in 2013, one of Forbes’ 100 Women Changing the World and one of The Daily Beast’s Women Who Shake the World. She has written for and appeared on Al Jazeera, The New York Times and Foreign Policy, among other outlets.
Akbar’s speech last night was titled “Afghan Women and the Global Fight Against Gender-Based Violence.”
Said Suzanne Fogarty, Head of Lincoln School, “Young women are a powerful force for change in the world, whether through activism, government, or other forms of involvement. It’s so important that our students are able to discuss issues such as gender-based violence, the gender imbalance in politics, and most critically, that you’re never too young and it’s never too early to get involved.”
IN PHOTO: Sen. Gayle L. Goldin, at left, welcomed Afghan women’s rights activist Noorjahan Akbar, center, and Lincoln School students to the State House Tuesday. At right are Sen. Jeanine Calkin (D-Dist. 30, Warwick), Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) and John Wesley, director of policy and advocacy for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903