Mary Akrami is the Executive Director of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center (AWSDC), an organization that established the first shelter for women at risk in 2003. Akrami envisions an equitable and peaceful society through AWSDC and initiates community-based peace shuras (councils) in different provinces of Afghanistan. She has been a strong advocate for the promotion and protection of women’s human rights in Afghanistan since 2001. 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 peacebuilding.
Akrami has also been engaged in advocacy and campaigning for women’s inclusion within political and peace processes including the 2010 Peace Consultative Jirga and the 2011 Grand Assembly for Peace Process. For her work promoting women’s rights, she was awarded the first International Women of Courage Award from the U.S .State Department in 2007. She has been a member of South Asian for Human Rights since 2013.
Akrami also contributed to the establishment of Bost Family Restaurant, the first restaurant in Afghanistan which provides jobs for female survivors of violence and contributes to women’s economic empowerment.
—Article composed by Allison Tamer, Program Assistant, June 2013
—Updated by Claire Kozik, Program Assistant, Summer 2018