Board Member / Chair, Feminist Majority’s Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls
Mavis Nicholson Leno is the Chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls. Leno joined the Board of Directors of the Feminist Majority Foundation in 1997 after playing an active role in the effort to defeat Proposition 209, the anti-affirmative action initiative on the 1996 California ballot.
Leno assumed her role as Chair of the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan in 1997, less than one year after the Taliban’s brutal treatment of women began. She testified and made numerous television and public appearances to urge the United States and the United Nations not to recognize the Taliban regime and to restore women’s human rights in Afghanistan. Her involvement in the Feminist Majority’s Campaign was also instrumental in ending the energy company UNOCAL’s efforts to construct an oil pipeline across Afghanistan that would have supplied the Taliban with over $100 million and dramatically increased their control in the region.
She is currently a leader in the effort to make the restoration of women’s rights a non-negotiable element of a post-Taliban Afghanistan, and has been at the forefront of insuring that the plight of Afghan women is included in the world’s reporting of the war in Afghanistan and that the women and girls of Afghanistan are not forgotten. In 2002, the FMF’s Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.