CIMS proudly convenes a special panel discussion featuring Dr. Homira May Rezai and Hasina Shirzad, two Afghan women’s rights activists who will discuss the women's rights situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban's seizing of power in August 2021. Dr. Rezai is a tireless advocate for the Hazara people, and Shirzad is a journalist, researcher, and adviser who has written on the Afghan diaspora and media landscape.
Dr. Homira Rezai is the Chair of Hazara Committee in the UK (HCUK), a non-profit organization working for freedom of religious belief. She is passionate about women’s and minority rights and has been a vocal advocate in the past years. Through her work at HCUK, she has written several reports and parliamentary briefs on the Hazaras providing accurate information what is really happening on the ground. Rezai is a board member of World Hazara Council and was one of the organisers who co-led the #StopHazaraGenocide campaign which increased the conversation on the persecution of Hazaras in Afghanistan around the world. Rezai holds a PhD in medical research and is the Executive Operations Officer at MirZyme Therapeutics, an innovative pharmaceutical company developing diagnostics and therapeutics for pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia.
Hasina Shirzad is currently an adviser at Nansen Fredssenter. Previously, she has worked as an adviser at OsloMet - the metropolitan university and with communications and diplomacy at the Afghan embassy in Norway. Hasina is involved in the Afghan diaspora, and she is active in the Norwegian media in matters related to minorities and freedom of expression. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kabul University and a master's degree in journalism from OsloMet. She wrote a master's thesis on identity in exile. Hasina has written academic articles in the area of freedom of expression and is active in women's rights topics; the article published in the Guardian, "what it means to be truly independent women", was an interesting piece which attracted much attention in Norway.