In 2010, Sakena Yacoobi participated in the public forum “Health at Whose Cost?”, part of the Melbourne Conversations series, as a delegate at the United Nations Advance Global Health conference.

She shared her thoughts about Afghanistan and discussed how the Afghan Institute of Learning is working to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals by generating awareness and educating Afghan society about pertinent issues:

“Our organization decided to really target universal education, gender equality and child maternal health. … As an individual, everyone is responsible to take care of everyone else’s health and to try to help. In order to help, you must give them training to be able to teach them how to help [themselves].”

While discussing the importance of women’s rights, Yacoobi said:

“Why [do] we target gender equality? Because in Afghanistan, you know, always half of the population has been considered. The other half, or more than the other half, are women. Women have been completely ignored. So if you really want to have a healthy nation, you must target the other half of the population. Because those half are the ones who are taking care of the rest of the population. So we must really try to teach them and work with both sex[es], male and female.”

How’s that for food for thought? Listen to Yacoobi speak at the 0:29:15 mark and check out other inspiring speakers in the video: