Graduate Programme in Development Studies
Research Keywords: Women Human Rights Defenders; Afghan women refugees; women’s agency; resettlement and Integration; immigration
Selay Ghaffar is a graduate student in Development Studies at York University and a recipient of the SSHRC scholarship. Her research centres on the agency and resettlement experiences of Afghan Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Canada, focusing on how the Canadian resettlement and integration policies and services impact their integration experiences and how they negotiate these policies and resources to achieve their goals. With an extensive career spanning almost two decades, Selay has fearlessly championed women’s rights and fearlessly confronted religious extremism and political establishments. She has held influential leadership positions within national and international human rights organizations, instrumental in driving initiatives to empower women through education, economic independence and political leadership across Afghanistan. Selay’s unwavering commitment to gender equality and her courageous activism have earned her numerous accolades, including prestigious human rights awards and recognition among the world’s 100 most influential women by La Repubblica, a famous Italian newspaper. Her remarkable journey and struggle for women’s emancipation and freedom in Afghanistan have been featured in impactful documentaries, such as “I am the Revolution” by Benedetta Argentieri, “Afghans: Victims of Peace” by ARTE France, “Afghan Women’s Rights and Floating Armories” by Vice HBO, and “Life of Women in Afghanistan” by DW-ZDF-Info Channel. Selay has represented Afghan women at various national and international events, while actively engaging in multiple women’s and progressive alliances and networks worldwide. Notably, she holds a council membership in Progressive International, an esteemed association of intellectuals, including luminaries like Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Vijay Prashad, and Silvia Federici. Selay’s remarkable achievements and inspiring endeavours continue to shape her impactful presence on the global stage.