Women in Government Relations, a US-based organization has recognized Maryam Rayed, an activist for democracy and women’s political empowerment as an advocate of the year in an event that was organized in Washington DC on Monday.
The Excellence in Advocacy Awards is a prestigious annual program that has honored women advocates and leaders in the field of government relations and advocacy since 2001.
This year and for the first time, the organization recognizes an Afghan woman for her activism and advocacy in the category of Advocate on the Rise. Rayed has founded and co-founded several nonprofit organizations in Afghanistan and the region, including the Afghanistan Women’s Think Tank and Democracy Pen, a non-profit organization that works for the endowment of democracy, women’s education and free press in Afghanistan. Both grassroots research and advocacy centers provide a safe platform for women’s meaningful participation in political and social arenas and promote democracy.
Currently, Rayed is a Fulbright scholar pursuing her second master’s degree in Governance and Diplomacy at Georgetown University of Washington DC. According to Rayed, her research focuses on Women, Peace and Security, and the US Foreign Policy in the Middle East and South Asia.
Speaking about her background to Khaama Press, Maryam said that she has also served as a fellow at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), where she conducted research on Afghanistan’s SDGs agenda.
She believes that the women’s global movement should stand in solidarity with women from Afghanistan, Iran, and those living under authoritarian rules and harsh circumstances.
“In building a free, peaceful, and just world, we must make sure women in these parts of the world are treated with dignity and equality,” she told Khaama Press.
Rayed believes that diversifying stages and platforms to include vulnerable voices is an urgent need for women’s global movements to achieve their ultimate goal.