Ambassador Wahidullah Waissi's Speech - IWD 2022 Special Celebration

Ambassador Wahidullah Waissi||

Speech by HE Wahidullah Waissi, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Australia and None-resident Ambassador to New Zealand and Fiji

On International Women’s Day

Melbourne, 08 March 2022


In the Name of God, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful


Dr. Katie Allen, Member of the Australian Parliament,

Ms. Christine Clarke, Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls

Prof Margarete Gardner, President, and Vice Chancellor, Monash University

Prof Sharon Pickering, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice President of Monash Uni

Prof Jacqui True, Director of Gender, Peace and Security of Monash

Dr. Karima Hamid Faryabi, Afghanistan’s Former Minister of Economy,

Representatives of the Consular Corps in Melbourne,

Mr. Farhad Darya, the Afghan legend singer, producer and activist

Prof. Emeritus William Maley,

Australian friends, Fellow members of the Afghan community, 


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by sincerely thanking the Monash University’s Faculty of Arts for warmly accepting the proposed initiative of devoting and hosting this year’s International Women’s Day in support of the women and girls in Afghanistan.  This meant to celebrate their courage and bravery in their fight for dignity, freedom, and justice. 

I would like to profoundly thank the Monash Gender, Peace and Security Centre, the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, and the student-led Monash International Affairs Societyfor establishing partnerships with organisations in Afghanistan to promote education of young people and human rights. In this regard, my special appreciation goes to Prof. Jacqui True, for her eloquently stand by Afghan women and girls. 

This is sufficiently regrettable that, once again, women and girls have been forced to experience the darkest period of their life under the Taliban oppressive regime. This marks the most tragic episode in the history of struggle and survival of the Afghan nation.

Distinguished participants,

Your immense presence, engagement and dedication in today’s event is greatly encouraging. It is a strong testimony of solidarity and support to the outstanding campaign and sacrifices of the women and girls in Afghanistan. 

Afghan women and girls have been in the forefront of opposing the tyrannic regime of the Taliban since the junta came into power again by illegitimate use of force instead of abiding by a peaceful settlement and democratic mechanism, which has been the foremost desire of the people of Afghanistan, more than four decades. 

The Taliban extremist group has severely disrupted the recent two decades of progress and achievements of the Afghan nation where women and girls were particularly benefiting from with the support of international community, including Australia. 

Enhancing public and private education, boosting economic development, democratic institutions, and political representation, safeguarding human rights, women and girls empowerment, freedom of speech, freedom of press, flourishing arts, culture, music, sport, and all other areas of socio-economic development in Afghanistan have now faced with meaningless impediments and restrictions by Taliban due to their mis-interpretation of Islam and the sharia law, which is totally strange and not acceptable by any country and Muslim community throughout the world.

TODAY we celebrate the 2022 IWD while millions of women are not allowed to go back to work and millions of girls are still being prevented to continue their secondary and higher educations in Afghanistan. 

TODAY we celebrate the 2022 IWD when there is no chance for women and girls in Afghanistan to exercise and benefit from the universal conventional rights and opportunities in political, social, economic, cultural, and other fronts. 

We celebrate the 2022 IWD while Afghan women and girls TODAY are not even allowed to commute without accompanying a male relative and cannot travel beyond a limited distance alone.

In the past nearly 7 months, Talib junta did not tolerate at least one peaceful demonstration or gathering of Afghan women activists whose slogans were only food, employment, and freedom. Not only the women activists, but many journalists, human rights defenders, former government officials and all other Afghans who are not necessarily opposing the Taliban regime but just seeking their basic rights and dignity have also been subjected to arbitrary detention, assault and torture by the Taliban. The Taliban’s armed men raiding to the houses in major cities even in the middle of the night have tremendously been violated the privacy of the Kabul residents. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

With all these wrongdoings of the Taliban that we know about, even though there are lack of freedom of press and media in Afghanistan, how can be convinced that the Taliban have changed for the better, compared to their repressive totalitarian regime of the 1990s. 

Should the Afghan nation and the international community accept the deprivation of millions of Afghan women and girls from their fundamental rights, such as employment and education as a new normal? 

Hence, on this occasion, on behalf of my people, I kindly request the Australian Government, the Australian people and the Afghan diaspora to keep their current principled position and supportive role to the cause and struggle of the people of Afghanistan, particularly women and girls likewise in the last 7 months for “not recognizing the Taliban” as a government.   

In addition, the unprecedented economic downturn, lack of access to the most basic services, humanitarian catastrophe and widespread hunger under the Taliban are alerting. It is so difficult for the UN agencies, donor countries and organizations to reach out the Afghans in need of immediate help who are kept as hostage by the Taliban. 

However, engaging and dealing with the Taliban in the way it has been examined by some countries so far shall not provide incentives to the group to pave the way for its legitimization and recognition. The more incentivising this militant group, the more it will act recklessly and will misuse the opportunities given. The US-Taliban 2020 Doha Accord was a clear example. 

Dear guests,

Let me talk about some good and positive matters now as I think I spoke enough about the Taliban. 

I am so delighted to see the progress and achievements of the Afghan diaspora in Australia, particularly among women and girls, in various fields such as in higher education, health, economy, business, multiculturism, gender, art and more. Fortunately, we have many of them among us today and will have some of them on board during the recognition and awards ceremony. 

I do hope, that with the continued commitment, engagement, and support by the Australian Government to the people of Afghanistan, more refugee crisis will be prevented. There is huge potential among the Afghan diaspora communities which can be mobilized in support of the most vulnerable populations in Afghanistan, notably women and girls. The inception of Helping Afghans which is a digital platform in this respect is quite significant. This initiative will be elaborated during the panel discussion later this evening. I thank both Baran Entertainment and the Helping Afghans Platform for partnering and sponsoring this momentous IWD celebration. 

I am very pleased that this timely occasion coincided with the presence of the famous Afghan national singer, musician, and public figure, Mr. Farhad Darya, who will pay tribute to our today’s IWD celebration through his magnificent performance together with the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music students. I appreciate Prof. Cat Hope’s dedication and support to this program.

Last but not the least, I would like to extend my appreciation to Farkhundeh Akbar, for her contribution and tireless effors for organising today’s programme. I should also congratulate her, now as Dr., Farkhundeh Akbari, as she recently completed her PhD program at the ANU and joined Monash GPS.

In conclusion, I must say that while the Taliban have not changed for the better and is opposing to respect women and girl’s rights, Afghan women and girls have progressed in many fields during the past two decades. That’s why the movements of women and girls have been an active resistance against the Taliban in the past 7 months. 

I recall the performance of All Female Zuhra Orchestra here at the Robert Blackwood Hall as part of the 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two friendly countries in 2019. Now, after 3 years, despite Taliban’s takeover, we are back here in this joint glorious celebration. With this, I am confident that the people-to-people bonds between Australia and Afghanistan is unbreakable. It will continue in the future and for the generations to come.

Thank you!

Last modified on Thursday, 31/03/2022

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