This forum, organized by the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, will begin with an overview of U.S. foreign policy towards those two countries over the past several administrations. It will also feature a discussion with individuals with foreign policy expertise and representatives of several NGOs in Minnesota who have had direct experience working with women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During the forum it is hoped to address the intended outcomes of U.S. foreign policy towards Iraq and Afghanistan; efforts to influence positively the lives of women in those countries; stories of hope and progress related to women's health, education, jobs and human rights; as well as an exploration of unintended consequences.
Speakers and panelists include:
Charlotte Ponticelli, Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State
Sharon Schmickle, international correspondent with the Star Tribune focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan during 2003 and 2004 and a Washington correspondent during the 1990s. Schmickle was embedded with the U.S. Marines during the invasion of Iraq in March 2003
Linda Cullen, independent photojournalist with experience in Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya, Iraq and Afghanistan. Cullen has worked for a number of international publications and relief organizations, including CARE International, the American Refugee Committee, Direct Relief, Hope Worldwide, and the Los Angeles Times
Martha Naegeli, Communications director with the American Refugee Committee. Naegeli has made several trips to the field to report on ARC's programs around the world, including to Iraq during the summer of 2003. Naegeli also has extensive knowledge of the plight of Afghan refugees living in both Pakistan and Afghanistan
Kathleen Graham, a Minnesota-based attorney who consults with agencies and non-profit organizations in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and East Africa on human rights issues, women's access to economic resources and political power, and the development of civil society and the rule of law.
Munna Yasiri, Twin Cities resident and Iraqi-American who is a community activist and founder of a grassroots charitable organization assisting Iraqi women and children
Refreshments before and after the event provided by Khyber Pass Restaurant and the College of St. Catherine.
The forum is cosponsored by the League of Women Voters of Minnesota; The Center for Women, Economic Justice, and Public Policy - College of St. Catherine; the Minnesota International Center; the League of Women Voters of the United States; the Center for Womens Policy Studies in Washington, D.C; and the national office of the Womens Environment and Development Organization.
For more information or to register: Call 651.224.5445