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Ms. Mary Akrami is the Executive Director of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center (AWSDC), the organization that established the first shelter for women at risk in 2003.
Ms. Akrami envisioned an equitable and peaceful society through AWSDC and initiated the community based peace shuras (councils) in different provinces of Afghanistan. These peace councils became the only platform where women were able to find an opportunity to engage in conflict resolution mechanisms at the local levels and that was the start of women’s inclusion in community based peace building.
Ms. Akrami’s organization has been working with other civil society organizations engaged in peace building and conflict resolution programs and provided them with trainings and mentoring on mechanisms on women’s engagement in political and community based peace building.
In additions to promoting women’s contribution in the community based peace building and conflict resolution, Ms. Akrami has been engaged in advocacy and campaigning for women’s inclusion within the political and peace processes that included the 2010 Peace Consultative Jirga & the 2011 Grand Assembly for Peace Process.
Because of her struggles for women’s rights, Ms. Akrami received the International Women of Courage Award from the United States, Department of State in 2007. Ms. Akrami has participated in numerous international conferences and regional platforms for women in peace in Af-Pak region.
Ms. Akrami is an alumni of New York University’s Human Rights Advocacy Fellowship in New York, United States.