ExpertiseConflict Resolution and Peace-building
Democracy and Political Participation
Feminist Foreign Policy
Women Human Rights Defenders
Afghanistan Is a Country of Rebels. We Will Never Stop Fighting. Global Citizen Sep 20, 2023
How has life changed for Afghan women since the Taliban took power? DW News Aug 16, 2023
Inside Afghanistan’s secret schools The Documentary BBC Aug 8, 2023
Can Online Education, Work Bypass Taliban Barriers for Afghan Women? VOA May 12, 2023
Files From Exile: Pashtana Dorani on LEARN, Digital Literacy and Girls’ Education in Afghanistan Manara Magazine May 10, 2023
The Afghan woman running covert schools under the Taliban’s nose The National Mar 8, 2023
My Organization Empowers Girls Through Education — By Running Underground Schools in Afghanistan Global Citizen Feb 6, 2023
Taliban ban women from Afghan universities CNN Dec 23, 2022
Q&A: Learning at Wellesley, While Helping Girls Learn in Afghanistan Wellesley Centers for Women Dec 2022
Despite one year of Taliban rule, Afghan women haven’t stopped fighting for equality Equal Times Oct 10, 2022
How has a year of Taliban rule changed Afghanistan? The Stream Al Jazeera Aug 17, 2022
Afghan women, girls push for education in the face of Taliban resistance PBS News Hour Jul 15, 2022
In Exile, but Undaunted Wellesley Magazine Spring 2022
Taliban Deny Afghan Girls Education, Block Women From Working Abroad VOA Mar 29, 2022
Taliban U-turn over Afghan girls’ education reveals deep leadership divisions Guardian Mar 25, 2022
Broadcast interviews on Taliban denying girls’ education BBC, CNN, Deutsche Welle, TRT World, RFE, Al Jazeera
Six Months After the Fall of Kabul New Lines Podcast Feb 25, 2022
Afghanistan women: ‘I felt anxious going back to university’ BBC World Feb 4, 2022
In Pashtana Dorani’s Afghanistan, No Woman Will Be Left Behind Wellesley News Jan 24, 2022
TIME100 Talks Spotlight: Pashtana Durrani Time Dec 17, 2021
“No Food Available”: Afghanistan Faces Catastrophe Democracy Now Dec 16, 2021
BBC 100 Women 2021 BBC Dec 7, 2021
Afghan women entrepreneurs defy Taliban curbs on women’s education TRT World Dec 07, 2021
Afghan Teachers Defy Taliban by Secretly Schooling Teenage Girls Wall Street Journal Nov 25, 2021
Afghanistan: After The Fall | The Mehdi Hasan Show MSNBC Nov 19, 2021
Inside One Afghan Woman’s Fight to Protect Educational Rights Elle Aug 19, 2021
As Taliban offers reassurances for women, Afghan educator warns words must be measured against actions CBC Radio The Current Aug 17, 2021
Afghanistan: ‘Women won’t be silenced by the Taliban’ BBC Aug 16, 2021
Pashtana Durrani (@BarakPashtana ) is an Afghan human rights activist and community development expert who champions the right of women and girls to education. She founded LEARN Afghanistan (@LearnAfg), a non-profit dedicated to innovation in education, health, community resource building with a focus on women, girls and child rights advocacy.
Living in exile in the US, she started pursuing a Masters in Education and Policy Analysis at Harvard in the fall of 2023. She has been a visiting fellow at the Wellesley Centers for Women in Massachusetts since late fall 2021, where she continued research to help Afghan women and girls pursue education and support the health of Afghan mothers and babies. She lived in hiding and spoke out against the closure of schools and universities after the Taliban takeover in August, 2021 and fled to the United States that fall.
Pashtana founded LEARN Afghanistan to safely and securely provide education to girls through a distributed network of tablet computers using an offline platform. Through LEARN, she has educated more than 7,000 girls and boys in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and trained more than 80 teachers in digital literacy. LEARN also focuses on girls’ health, and has trained 700 girls in menstrual hygiene management.
Her autobiographical book LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN was published in the US in May 2023.
Pashtana was named an Education Champion by the Malala Fund for her outstanding work to advance Afghan girls’ education. She was the winner of a 2023 Global Citizen Award and the 2023 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award. She was a global youth representative for Amnesty International and a board member of the steering committee for the Global Environment Facility. She received the 2021 Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Emerging Leader prize, which recognizes leaders who have addressed complex global challenges in innovative ways. She was in the Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship Class of 2022. Pashtana Durrani was on the BBC 100 influential women list in 2021.