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SITARA – Film Screening and Panel Discussion

December 11, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Free – $10

A short animated film by Academy Award-winning film director, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.


The film tells the story of Pari, a 14-year old girl in Pakistan who dreams of being a pilot, until her father marries her off to a much older man, thus killing any hopes she has of fulfilling her dream. This powerful story about child marriage is evoking a global conversation among young people about the importance of being able to pursue their dreams.

The film is supported by CHIME FOR CHANGE, a global campaign founded by Gucci to convene, unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for gender equality. CHIME FOR CHANGE aims to inspire participation in a collective community, bringing people together across borders and generations in the fight for equality.

Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA) and American Pakistan Foundation (APF) are pleased to host the screening of SITARA followed by a panel discussion focused on bringing awareness to the issues of child and forced marriages, gender inequality, and ways we as a global community can help address those challenges.

This event is co-sponsored by the International Development Studies (IDS) and the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs at the Elliott School, the George Washington University.

Our Panelists Include:

Wendy Rhein, Regional Managing Director, UNICEF USA in Washington, DC

Wendy has served as director of advancement, marketing, and communications for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, as executive director of The Well Project, and as director of campaign themes and new initiatives and special assistant to the president UNICEF USA. A lifelong passion for civil and human rights led Wendy into social justice work as a career as well as a volunteer. She has a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in women’s studies from the University of Michigan.

Rahima Sajid, Finance Associate at the Malala Fund

Rahima graduated with a dual BA in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Political Science with a minor in International Studies. She holds a Masters’s degree in Public Administration and has a deep passion for empowering women and girls on the international platform.’

Casey Swegman, Forced Marriage Initiative Project Manager, Tahirih Justice Center

Casey oversees the provision of specialized social services and safety planning to individuals facing or fleeing forced marriage, as well as technical assistance to service providers across the country. Casey also supports the growth of the national coalition working on the issue of forced marriage in the United States and manages the Forced Marriage Initiative website.

Shamila Chaudhary, President of American Pakistan Foundation (Moderator)

Chaudhary is an international affairs analyst specializing in U.S. foreign policy with a focus on U.S.-Pakistan relations, Pakistan internal politics, and regional issues in South Asia. She is a Senior South Asia Fellow at the Washington D.C.-based New America think tank and a Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Chaudhary earned an M.A. in International Affairs from the American University’s School of International Service and a B.A. in English Literature and Women’s Studies from the University of Toledo.

Light refreshments will be provided.


December 11, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Free – $10


The Elliott School of International Affairst at the George Washington University
1957 E St NW , DC
Washington, DC 20052 United States
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