Belquis Ahmadi has over 20 years of experience working in Afghanistan on issues related to gender, human rights, civil society development, rule of law, governance and democracy.  Ms. Ahmadi’s extensive experience includes senior management positions under large USAID programs in Afghanistan, evaluation of USAID gender and democracy and governance programming, and analysis and design of gender and human rights programming, and training and mentoring Afghan civil society and government candidates.  She has also published extensively on democracy, governance and women’s rights in Afghanistan.

From November 2010 to March 2014, Ms. Ahmadi worked on the USAID-funded Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations Regional Command East (RAMP UP), implemented in 14 provinces.  In this role, Ms. Ahmadi managed the technical work of the program to ensure high quality results and deliverables.  In addition, she developed core skills training modules to integrate and mainstream gender in all aspects of governance, service delivery, and leadership to over 200 municipal officials in fourteen provinces.

From 2006 to 2009, Ms. Ahmadi served as senior human rights advisor in Afghanistan.  In this role, she provided leadership and management oversight of resources, including budget, planning, and program monitoring; designed and implemented activities promoting women’s rights through the use of religious arguments, providing analysis of the Shiite Personal Status Law, as well as providing advice and guidance in drafting of the Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women; and oversaw the preparation of training materials for programs.

From 2000 to 2004, she served as program coordinator for Global Rights Partners for Justice in Washington D.C., managing their Afghanistan program.  From 1987 to 1999, Ms. Ahmadi worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross, CARE International, and the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR) in Afghanistan.  Ms. Ahmadi earned her LLM in International Human Rights Law from Georgetown University Law Center and her LLB of Law from Kabul University. 

Publications By Belquis

Breaking Down Barriers for Women and Youth in Afghanistan

Breaking Down Barriers for Women and Youth in Afghanistan

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Wagma Yameen Zia

The simple fact that Afghans participated in the recent parliamentary elections is no small sign of their commitment to democratic values and determination to have a say in the future of their country. Despite a recent, significant increase in attacks by violent extremist groups, a deteriorating...

Gender; Youth

For the Afghan Peace Process to Work, Women Must be Involved

For the Afghan Peace Process to Work, Women Must be Involved

Monday, October 29, 2018

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Marjan Nahavandi

The bottom line is Afghan women want peace and they want to have a say in how it is negotiated. Without women at the negotiation table, a long-term and inclusive peace is dramatically less likely. Indeed, studies show that the inclusion of women in peace negotiations, leads to peace agreements that are representative of the needs of the people they affect and, therefore, more sustainable.

Gender; Peace Processes

Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Vote: A Canary in the Presidential Poll Mine

Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Vote: A Canary in the Presidential Poll Mine

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

By: Scott Worden; Belquis Ahmadi

There is a palpable sense of anticipation in Kabul days before parliamentary elections will be held. Blast walls, billboards and powerline poles are plastered with the campaign posters of the hopeful candidates. With 800 candidates competing for 33 seats in Kabul, winning a seat in the province will be challenge. The possibility of successful electoral process nationally is equally daunting, however, as poor security, delayed preparations and the last-minute introduction of electronic voter verification machines (in a country with spotty electricity) make pulling off a credible vote a real gamble.

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence

Measuring Peace and Violent Extremism

Measuring Peace and Violent Extremism

Friday, March 16, 2018

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Eliza Urwin

Policymakers and practitioners have often engaged in a top-down approach in the design of programs to counter violent extremism in Afghanistan. This top-down approach relies heavily on the insights of religious leaders, elders, politicians, and other elites while failing to incorporate...

Violent Extremism

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