A bipartisan group of 46 senators has called on the Biden Administration to take immediate action to protect Afghan women leaders who are at “unparalleled danger following the Taliban’s violent sweep across Afghanistan and seizure of Kabul.” In a sign-on letter, the senators wrote: “We and our staff are receiving regular reports regarding the targeting, threatening, kidnapping, torturing, and assassinations of women for their work defending and promoting democracy, equality, higher education, and human rights.” They added that many of these high-profile Afghan women are now being “hunted by Taliban fighters who are going house-to-house with their names.”
To help prevent these highly vulnerable women from falling “through the cracks” of the government’s response, the senators are calling on the Administration to immediately create a humanitarian parole category specifically for women leaders, activists, human rights defenders, parliamentarians, journalists, and members of the Female Tactical Platoon of the Afghan Special Security Forces, and to expedite their relocation to the United States.
For those heartsick and angered by the devastating news out of Afghanistan, another important way to help is by supporting the critical work of non-profit organizations working on behalf of Afghan girls and women. Mighty Girl shares these organizations that include:
- Women for Afghan Women: WAW has been fighting for the rights of Afghan women for 20 years. Today, they are trying to help the women’s rights activists they work with throughout the country who are in extreme danger from the Taliban.
- Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation: The Foundation has been educating girls and women in Afghanistan for 13 years. Their founder Razia Jan is seeking support to help the school accommodate the many new girls who have been displaced to their region in recent weeks and to support the staff and students through the current instability.
- CARE: One of the world’s largest humanitarian aid organizations, CARE has a long history of helping people in Afghanistan. In recent weeks, there has been a huge increase in the demand for emergency aid as many families have fled the Taliban.
Afghan families are arriving in Colorado. The International Rescue Committee said that they will partner with Airbnb to provide short term, temporary housing through their Open Homes program.
- To learn more about volunteering with Lutheran Family Services, click here.
- To learn more about volunteering with the African Community Center, click here.
- To learn more about volunteering with the International Rescue Committee, click here.
To understand why Afghan women are so horrified at the return of the Taliban to power, it’s also important to remember the harsh reality of what life was like for girls and women during the last period of Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001 and the widespread progress that has been made on girls’ education and women’s rights over the past twenty years. In a new blog post, Mighty Girl has featured a selection of books, both fiction and biographical, for children and adults about the lives of girls and women both during the period of Taliban oppression and the years of rebuilding after. Their protagonists are girls and women who dream of a future where they can raise their voices and pursue their dreams, without fear of reprisal. These titles remind us that we cannot abandon our Afghan sisters: we must continue to support their fight for freedom.