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Debate Without Borders is an International Debate Tournament conducted fully over Skype. It began in 2013 and continues to this day.

We are excited to announce that in 2020, APT partnered with Australia’s Monash Gender, Peace, and Security Centre (Monash GPS) and Monash International Affairs Society (MIAS) to organize a series of debates on the role of women, human rights and gender equality issues in the Afghan peace process.

These policy debates aim to promote women’s active leadership and participation before, during, and after peace negotiations in Afghanistan’s peace process.

Afghan- Australian Intercollegiate Third Debate Round

Katrina Lee-Koo & Jacqui True, Toward Inclusive Peace: Mapping Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000-2016, Policy Brief. Melbourne: Monash GPS, April 2018.

Monash GPS, Afghanistan: A Situational Analysis of Women’s Participation in Peace Processes, Situational Analysis. Melbourne: Monash GPS, July 2018.

Monash GPS, Gender Analysis of Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan 2020Research Brief. Melbourne: Monash GPS, March 2020.

Jacqui True, Gender and Conflict: Making Elite Bargaining Processes More Inclusive. UK: Stabilisation Unit, 23 January 2020.

Previous Debate Round

Further reading:

John R. Allen, “The US-Taliban peace deal: A road to nowhere” Brookings Institute, 5 March 2020.

Natasha Kosev, “Peace Steeped in Patriarchy: Bringing Women into Afghan Negotiations” Australian Outlook, 8 March 2020.

Linda Mottram on PM, “Women’s rights need to be prioritised in US-Taliban peace agreement: John Allen” Podcast, ABC, 10 March 2020.

Melanne Verveer & Carla Koppell, “Afghan Women: Essential for Peace” The Hill, 6 March 2020.

Nahal Toosi, “Fears grow Trump will abandon Afghan women to the Taliban” Politico, 20 April 2019.

ABC Foreign Correspondent, “The War on Afghan Women,” ABC Foreign Correspondent, 14 April 2020 (available online until 14 May 2020).

Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA)-Victoria, “Women in International Affairs with Karishma Vyas,” AIIA-Victoria, 5 May 2020 (webinar).

Eleanor Gordon & Florence Carrot, “Coronavirus in conflict: The fight has hardly begun,” Lowy Institute, 8 April 2020.

Ezzatullah Mehrdad, Lindsey Kennedy & Nathan Paul Southern, “In Afghanistan, the Coronavirus Could Be Deadlier Than War,” Foreign Policy, 17 April 2020.

Madeleine Rees, “COVID-19: The United Nations Security Council is Doing What Exactly?WILPF International, 16 April 2020.

Meet the Teams

Afghans for Progressive Thinking (APT)

Rosita Sekandari

Rosita Sekandari is a graduate of Law and Political Science. Currently, she coaches Jami Debate Club, to empower youth and increase the culture of tolerance. Since 2017, she has been engaged in debate. By that means, her journey in debate resulted in achieving a championship, best speaker and best judge awards. Besides, she was advisor of the JESSUP moot court team and recently arbitrated 10th virtual middle east eVis pre-moot. Further, she presented Afghanistan in 9th middle east eVis pre-moot.

Edris Tawakal

Edris Tawakol holds a bachelor degree of Law and Political Science from Herat University and he is studying his master's degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution now. He was involved to many national and international educational Programs and has been debating since 2017. He achieved the First Best Speaker Award in the National Debate Tournament of Afghanistan in 2017. He is currently serving as a Legal Expert at the Administrative Office of the President of Afghanistan.

Farman Enayat

Farman Enayat, an undergraduate of BBA at Nokhbagan University, Mazar-e-sharif, Afghanistan. She started debate in 2017, and received many championships and best adjudicator awards in both the intervarsity and national debate competitions. She has been working voluntarily with APT for 3 years now. Besides, she has the membership of different youth-focused organizations and has been organizing many conferences. She is currently serving as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at HIA office and as Head of Programs at Youth Empowered Society voluntarily.

Safia Anwari

Safia Anwari is an aspiring social activist and a member of PACE 48 International Organisation in Afghanistan, a multinational youth-led platform promoting access to cultural education in the Asia Pacific. Safia's activism focuses on youth empowerment, education, peacebuilding and gender equality. She has been debating since 2017 and has received multiple championship awards. She has been providing youth with debate training for years and she is currently a Communication Manager in an international organization.

Monash University

Sonali De Silva

Sonali is a fifth year Global Studies/Law student, majoring in International Relations with a passion for international humanitarian law, policy and the environment. She has studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has a passion for cross-cultural debates. She is also the current Co-Editor-In-Chief of PIVOT, an online publication focused on international affairs.

Pete Karamountzos

Pete is a penultimate Arts/Law student. He has participated in a range of competitions debating and discussing global issues. Pete has successfully represented Monash University in domestic and international Model UN competitions. This has further developed his passion for advocacy, particularly in relation to human rights, conflict resolution and international law.

Shailja Sharma

Shailja is a Masters of International Relations student, specialising in Diplomacy and Trade, having graduated from a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in International Relations and Economics. She has received awards for her participation in international Model UN conferences, completed internships with the Victorian Parliamentary Library and Plan International Australia. Her key interests include the role of women in peacebuilding, power balances in the Asia-Pacific and US trade relations.

Jakob Cobby

Jakob is fourth year Global Studies/Law student, specialising in International Relations. Jakob is passionate about social inclusion with a focus on the accessibility of politics and the legal system in the advancement of human rights. He has represented Monash University in a number of international Model UN conferences.

Afghan-Australian Intercollegiate First Debate Round

Afghan-Australian Intercollegiate Second Debate Round

Meet Our Partner

Monash Gender, Peace, Security (Monash GPS)

Monash GPS provides research evidence to support the integration of gender perspectives in peace and security policies in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and globally.

Monash International Affairs Society (MIAS)

The Monash International Affairs Society (MIAS) is a not-for-profit, apolitical, student-led organisation at Monash University that aims to bring together like-minded individuals with a passion for international affairs through our three pillars: Academics; Socials; and Model United Nations.