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I publish on a range of women’s rights and gender equality issues, with over 50 publications in various books and edited volumes, peer-reviewed journals, online news sources. I write about women’s issues – for instance about the need for a feminist response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how women’s leadership is the strongest vehicle for peace and sustainable development. My piece I Hate International Women’s Day is one that resonated with women’s rights activists worldwide.

I completed my PhD from the London School of Economics in 2008 and published “Gender and International Aid in Afghanistan: The Politics and Effects of Intervention” in 2009 based on my doctoral research. My second book “Freedom on the Frontlines: Afghan Women and the Fallacy of Liberation” is out now.

I also post my writing on Medium and my blog – LinaSays.


I write as much as I speak, so there’s more writing underway all the time!

day now!

Book Publication


In late 2001, Afghanistan was at the top of global agendas - everyone seemed to be talking about “liberating” Afghan women. 

Meanwhile, women, politics, and the state have always been intertwined in Afghanistan, and conflicts have been fueled by attempts to challenge or change women’s status. 


Twenty years later, in late 2021, as Afghanistan fell once again to the Taliban, it might seem that we have come full circle. Afghan women’s rights have been stripped away, and any gains – albeit precarious – now appear to be lost. The country is a humanitarian emergency and a human rights disaster. 


This book is built from the voices hundreds of Afghan women and men from 2001 to 2021 because, no matter what we might see from the outside, the only true measure of progress – or liberation – is through the voices of the Afghan people.

Available now!

Afghanistan has become home to one of the largest gender-focused aid interventions in the aftermath of 9/11, with foreign aid agencies using Afghan women as a barometer of social change and political progress. Through the lens of gendered aid intervention, this book seeks to understand how the promise of freedom has largely fallen short--for both men and women.

Topics include the tenuous relationship between social indicators and aid dynamics; the advancing of the gender agenda through Afghanistan's 2005 parliamentary elections; and the journey from policy formulation to interpretation to implementation through the voices of policy-makers, policy implementers, NGO leaders, Afghanistan specialists and ordinary Afghan women and men.

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