Asma Faizi is a pillar of hope for Afghan women and girls in Canada and abroad.
As President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Afghan Women's Organization (AWO), Asma has been instrumental in creating opportunities for Afghan women and girls for several decades, notably by implementing the Afghan Women's Leadership and Governance Training Program, coordinating an AWO Youth Leadership initiative, and representing the AWO on the Steering Committee of the Canadian Coalition in Support of Women.
Globally, Asma is an unwavering advocate for women and girls, leading workshops and presentations on women's rights in Afghanistan, at conferences in Mexico and Thailand, as well as participating in international programs held in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. She has ensured that the stories of women and girls who have experienced human rights abuses in Afghanistan were heard by the Canadian government. During her time at AWO, the organization developed initiatives in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan including establishing underground girls' schools, creating trainings, income-generating initiatives, and opening an orphanage for young girls.
As a trained lawyer, Asma has been providing free legal services throughout her career, including to help Ontario’s charities, non-profits, low-income entrepreneurs and startups to help improve governance and manage risks; to self-represented individuals in court; on intellectual property, contracts and other business law matters for low-income visual artists; and low-income families whose children face challenges to their rights at school. She has paved the way for new lawyers as a formal mentor to young in-house counsel through the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association's Mentorship Program as well as informally mentoring numerous other young women law students and young Afghan women.
Asma has received the Member of Parliament's Sesquicentennial Citizenship Award in 2017 and was among the ATLAS Women Afghanistan Emergency Task Force that received the 2021 PILnet Pro Bono Publico Award, an award that recognizes extraordinary legal professionals and their dedication to service for the public good.
Asma’s commitment to amplifying voices locally is assured through AWO. Because of Asma, the collective experiences of Afghan women and girls, in Canada and abroad, will be protected and heard for years to come.
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