A year ago, August 15, 2021, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. Since then, the rights of women and girls there have been sharply curtailed, ranging from the closure of schools to the mandate to wear the burqa to the cessation of employment for women.
As an organization dedicated to woman-to-woman discourse and understanding, American Women for International Understanding (AWIU) deplores this “about-face” from the progress made in the previous 20 years for the rights of Afghan women.
Since our founding, AWIU has advocated for oppressed women everywhere. Our grant program for women’s groups around the world, and recognition awards for the State Department’s International Women of Courage program speak to the power of our mission. From 2007 to the present day, we have celebrated 13 Afghan International Women of Courage, and also recognized seven Afghan women leaders killed in the course of their work with a 2021 Honorary Posthumous Group Award.
In the past year, to assist at-risk women and girls still in Afghanistan, we made a significant donation to Friends of the American University of Afghanistan (FAUAF), and provided settlement assistance and befriending through members of our Chicago Chapter to local Afghan refugees. With 2017 International Woman of Courage Fadia Najib Thabet, who works with refugees in the U.S., we are exploring a theme of refugee support as a unified effort for AWIU chapters to provide local outreach and assistance across the United States.
Our work on behalf of our Afghan sisters will continue, and we need your help. Please consider donating to this cause.
For more information on the plight of women in Afghanistan, read the following articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post:
New York Times
Afghan Women Reflect on the Anniversary of the U.S. Withdrawal
Afghanistan, One Year after the Fall
A year after Kabul fell to the Taliban, Afghan girls stay unsinkable