Afghan human rights activistDied when: 66 years 168 days (797 months)
Star Sign: Aries
Sima Wali (April 7, 1951 – September 22, 2017) was one of the foremost Afghan human rights advocates in the world, serving as an international campaigner for the liberties and empowerment of refugee and internally displaced populations.
She was the Chief Executive Officer of Refugee Women in Development (RefWID), Inc., a global non-profit organization that advocated for the civil rights of refugee women and girls fleeing from conflict and for their equitable reintegration into their societies.
She was also the vice president of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute, the world’s first feminist think tank.Wali said that her personal experience as a refugee of the Soviet-Afghan War inspired her fight for the human rights of uprooted populations.
Her testimonies throughout her career before the United Nations, the United States Congress and the U.S.State Department led to the appropriation of millions of dollars supporting Afghan women-led NGOs and the participation of women in Afghanistan's nascent democracy.
She delivered the keynote address at the United Nations' celebration of International Women's Day in 2002, speaking alongside U.N.Secretary General Kofi Annan, First Lady Laura Bush, and Queen Noor of Jordan. "For more than twenty years, I have waged my own jihad for social justice and peace, as the rights of my Afghan sisters have been systematically violated to the extent of rendering us as non-citizens in our own country.
Afghan women have suffered heinous crimes against humanity, and need diplomatic and financial leverage from the international community to aid them in their fight to reclaim their rightful place in Afghan and international society." -Sima Wali at the United Nations, 2002 She was also a speaker at the Ford Hall Forum in 1999 and 2009, and she has been a participant in the Dropping Knowledge project, among many other prestigious events and notable institutions.