Girls’ Education in Fragile Contexts
31 March 2021 | Online Conference
9.30 am – 12.15 pm BST | 13.00 pm – 15.45 pm AFT
To mark eight years of the FCDO and USAID-funded Steps Toward Afghan Girls’ Education Success (STAGES) programme, Aga Khan Foundation UK is hosting an online conference on 31 March 2021 on the topic of ‘Girls’ Education in Fragile Contexts’.
In 2013, a coalition of charities and foundations led by Aga Khan Foundation and funded by UK Aid came together to establish STAGES. In Afghanistan, a country where 2.5 million girls are out of school, the goal was to support over 200,000 girls get to school and stay in school for longer. All ages of girls were provided support from primary through to secondary and continuing education with many graduates going on to become teachers, thereby supporting the sustainability of this education programme. Recognising the role that local communities, religious leaders and fathers can play in the success of a girls’ education programme, these became essential stakeholders in its success.
The event will bring together the programme’s key stakeholders – the Afghanistan Ministry of Education, FCDO, USAID and the STAGES consortium – to share learnings, discuss ways in which these could be applied to other contexts, as well as explore future pathways for girls’ education in Afghanistan and other fragile contexts.
Join us for a promising high-level panel discussion and conversations with international experts and champions for girls’ education.
(All times listed below are in British Summer Time)
9.30 – 9.45am Welcome:
Dr. Matt Reed, Director of Institutional Partnerships, Aga Khan Foundation and Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation (UK)
9.45 – 10.05am Keynote: GEC and the UK’s vision for girls’ education.
Alicia Herbert OBE, Director, Education, Gender and Equality; and Gender Envoy, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
10.05 – 11.05am Panel Discussion: Seven years of innovative girls’ education in Afghanistan. Successes and Learnings from the STAGES project.
Facilitator: Sharon Tao, Director of Education, Girls Education Challenge.
Mumtaza Abdurazzakova, Programme Director, Save the Children International
Jan Ali Entezar, National Manager, Education-Implementation and Operations, Aga Khan Foundation, Afghanistan
Rebecca Hiemstra, Education Program Manager, Catholic Relief Services
Abdul Naser Salamyar, Project Manager, CARE Afghanistan
Qurban Ali Waezi, Head of Academics, Aga Khan Education Services
11.05 – 11.15am Break
11.15 – 11.30am Keynote: Reflecting on Girls’ Education in Afghanistan.
Her Excellency the Acting Minister of Education Ms. Rangina Hamidi
11.30am – 12.00pm Q&A Session:
Facilitator: Aurore Dorelien, Basic Education Team Lead, USAID Afghanistan
Laura Brannelly, Education Adviser, FCDO Afghanistan in conversation with
Her Excellency the Acting Minister of Education Ms. Rangina Hamidi, Ministry of Education, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
12:00 – 12:15pm Closing Remarks:
Mariella Ruiz-Rodriguez, Education Office Director, USAID Afghanistan
Ambassador Sheherazade Hirji, Diplomatic Representative, Aga Khan Development Network Afghanistan
Alicia Herbert OBEDirector, Education, Gender and Equality; and Gender Envoy, FCDO
Alicia Herbert, OBE, has more than 20 years’ experience in international development. She has worked with a range of organisations including multilaterals, academia and since 1999, the Department for International Development (DFID) now, the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO). She has extensive experience in the field – in Sub Saharan Africa as well as Asia – including in fragile countries. Alicia is currently Director, Education, Gender, Equality and Special Envoy on Gender Equality at FCDO. She is also Head of Abercrombie House, FCDO’s joint headquarters in East Kilbride, Scotland. She is one of the FCDO’s Senior Race Sponsors.
Dr. Matt Reed Global Director of Institutional Partnerships, Aga Khan Foundation and Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation (United Kingdom)Dr. Matt ReedGlobal Director of Institutional Partnerships, Aga Khan Foundation and Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation (United Kingdom)
As the Global Director of Institutional Partnerships for the Aga Khan Foundation, Matt coordinates all of AKF’s work with bilateral, multilateral, foundation and corporate partners worldwide. This includes resource mobilisation, relationship management, partner communications, grant management, and talent development to advance strategic priorities of the Aga Khan Development Network. He has been CEO of AKF in the UK since 2016.
Between 2013 and 2016, Matt led the Foundation’s work in India as its CEO, focusing AKF on the needs of marginalised communities, establishing significant new relationships, and launching multi-state programmes in education, financial inclusion, livelihoods, and water and sanitation. Earlier, Matt held the position of Director of Programmes for the Foundation in the UK. Previously, he worked at the Getty Research Institute, the Salzburg Seminar, the MacArthur Foundation, and Keck Graduate Institute at the Claremont Colleges.
As CEO in the UK, Matt has the additional responsibility for the Aga Khan Centre in London and building greater public awareness about the work of the broader Aga Khan Development Network.
Matt has a Ph.D. and M.A. in European History from Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles and a BA in English, summa cum laude, from the University of Oklahoma.
Mariella Ruiz-RodriguezEducation Office Director, USAID Afghanistan
Mariella Ruiz-Rodriguez is a Supervisory Education Development Officer with USAID; currently serving in USAID/Afghanistan as the Education Office Director. She has been with USAID for thirteen years supervising teams and managing integrated portfolios inclusive of basic and higher education, technical and vocational education, youth positive development and employment, workforce development, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, violence prevention and public-private partnerships. Prior assignments with USAID include Honduras, Uganda and the West Bank and Gaza.
Mrs. Ruiz-Rodriguez has a BA in International Studies from Washington College and an MA in Quantitative Methods in Education from the University of California at Berkeley. While completing her PhD coursework in Psychometrics, she worked as a researcher with the Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research Center (BEAR). She brings over 28 years of professional experience including teaching at primary, secondary and university levels, development work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bangladesh and Peru, as well as five years as a programmer/analyst with the private banking sector in California. Mariella is married to a Foreign Service Officer and has five children.
Ms. Rangina Hamidi Acting Minister of Education, Ministry of Education of the Islamic Republic of AfghanistanMs. Rangina HamidiActing Minister of Education, Ministry of Education of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Ms. Rangina Hamidi was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In 1981 she emigrated to Pakistan and then to the USA with her family. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Religious Studies and Women & Gender.
Ms. Hamidi returned to Afghanistan in 2003 and took up residence in Kandahar. For two decades, Ms. Hamidi has worked tirelessly to better the lives of Afghan citizens through development projects, advocacy, and, most importantly, education. Examples of Ms. Hamidi’s accomplishments include the establishment of a full value-chain model of an all women’s social enterprise in Kandahar whose products have reached Europe, the Middle East, Americas as well as other parts of the world. In this endeavor, Ms. Hamidi designed and implemented a holistic and full-environment approach to bring value to Afghan women at each part of the value chain. Most recently, Ms. Hamidi successfully led the Mezan International School to integrate and implement a world-class and internationally accredited curriculum with a solid foundation of Islamic education, Afghan history, Afghan values, and multi-lingual education.
Ms. Hamidi is well versed in child development, educational psychology, educational management, Islamic pedagogy, curriculum, business administration, development in conflict-affected countries, and gender issues from an Islamic perspective.
Ms. Hamidi has spoken about Afghanistan in numerous national and international forums that include universities, schools, conferences, and other special events.
She has been recognized internationally for her work with women. She was selected as one of 18 finalists for the CNN 2007 Hero Award and chosen as a “Personality of the Week” by Radio Free Europe. She has contributed to numerous publications and radio programs, including TIMES Asia Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Der Spiegel, Business Week, The Guardian, The Telegraph, NPR, BBC, and Voice of America. Her latest publication is a book that she has co-authored entitled “Embroidering within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future.”
Ms. Hamidi serves on the advisory board of Open Society Afghanistan (OSA), Afghan Women Chamber of Commerce & Industries (AWCCI), and is a council member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council.