As many of you know, I’m about to launch a brand new project for women in cybersecurity. I’m incredibly excited about it despite the fact that covid is in my house. Sadly, my son was diagnosed with it on Monday, and whilst my daughter and I are sympathetic and are tending to him, we’re counting down the days until he’s better and we can stop self-isolating!
But this is NOT why I’m writing to you today.
The last few days have been heartbreaking as the world has witnessed the Taliban once again seizing control of Afghanistan. What this means for women and girls is uncertain. We’ve read their promises yet hear reports of young girls being married off to Taliban soldiers, women being suspended from work, and door to door searches for people who’ve worked with US/ UK forces.
What we know is that 20-years ago, when the Taliban last ruled, women were not allowed to work, were not allowed to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male escort, girls could only be educated until they were 11/12-years old and there were numerous public punishments (stonings, beatings, amputations and executions) for anyone who defied their laws. The Taliban became notorious internationally for their misogyny and violence against women.
Women in Afghanistan are afraid. They’re fearful the repression will now return.
In light of the tragedy that’s unfolding, I’ve put my launch aside for a few days so I can take some action to help the Afghan women.
Here are a few things you can do.
- Follow and share news and stories
- Contact your MPs
If you have the means to contribute financially, please help the people in Afghanistan by picking a charity and making a donation.
Women for Women works at the critical intersection of women and conflict providing skills, knowledge, and resources that create sustainable change for women, their families, and their communities. Donate here https://www.womenforwomen.org/
Vital Voices Global Partnership invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges – from gender-based violence to the climate crisis, economic inequities, and more. We are “venture catalysts,” identifying those with a daring vision for change and partnering with them to make that vision a reality. We scale and accelerate impact through long term investments to expand skills, connections, capacity and visibility. Over the last 24 years, we have built a network of 18,000 change makers across 182 countries, each of whom are daring to reimagine a more equitable world for all. More information is here https://www.vitalvoices.org/
The International Rescue Committee provides vital support to Afghans who have endured four decades of violent conflict, as well as natural disasters and the spread of COVID-19. Women and girls are bearing the brunt of the violence as the latest increase in fighting in Afghanistan puts record levels of civilians in danger. The severity of the situation brings new urgency to ensure all Afghans in need of lifesaving aid can be reached. The IRC calls for world leaders to protect civilians and safeguard aid workers. They are appealing for funding to help them continue to deliver aid in areas of conflict and support displaced people in Kabul. Donate here https://www.rescue-uk.org/country/afghanistan.
The Khaled Hosseini Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides humanitarian relief and shelter to families, economic opportunity for women, and healthcare and education for children in Afghanistan. Donate here https://www.khaledhosseinifoundation.org/donate
For two decades, the U.S. Government has employed Afghan allies to serve alongside U.S. troops, diplomats, and other government employees as interpreters, translators, cultural advisors, drivers, and more. Because of their service to the U.S. mission, our allies and their families soon became the targets of anti-American violence.
As the U.S. armed forces rapidly withdraw from Afghanistan, more than 20,000 Afghans who served alongside them face a severe backlog in the processing of their Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). Our Afghan allies and their families are in grave danger and at risk of retaliatory attacks from the Taliban. You can help by donating https://www.lirs.org
Every minute that passes means an increased risk of violence, persecution and death—especially for those who have courageously worked to speak out and advance the rights of women and girls, including those who helped our team create some of the most iconic child marriage photographs worldwide.
TYTW is currently working to arrange the safe evacuation of 175 high-risk female Afghan journalists, activists and their families, taking care to keep them together as much as possible during the arduous asylum process. Among the individuals are an infant, a toddler, schoolgirls, translators, television reporters, humanitarian aid workers, and an author who has written several books on Taliban rule and its repercussions for women’s rights. One advocate was beaten by the Taliban while pregnant with twin boys during Taliban rule, resulting in the stillbirth of both babies. We thank you for your support https://tooyoungtowed.salsalabs.org/afghanistan-donation
MSF teams are responding to the crisis in Afghanistan, providing medical aid, expertise and life-saving supplies during the escalating crisis. They’ve been able to move quickly because they encourage supporters to give unrestricted donations – this means they can spend them where the need is greatest. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, there is no delay in mobilising, no wait for government funds to be released and no delay while fundraising appeals are launched. They can act immediately. Please make a donation today. If the crisis escalates further in Afghanistan, your unrestricted donation will mean that our emergency teams are ready for whatever comes next. Donate here https://msf.org.uk or https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org
Afghanistan is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. The rapid escalation in conflict has driven thousands from their homes – and more are fleeing every day. Please help us scale up supplies and get life-saving aid to families before it’s too late. Donate https://www.unhcr.org
This non-profit organization 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. To support their critical work, you can make a donation at https://amgrl.co/3AJgRwL
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. You can support their work in Afghanistan with a donation at https://amgrl.co/3iOeSBp
The Human Rights Center has just launched a $100K crowdfunding campaign to support Afghan journalists, lawyers, academics + activists who are trying to flee to safety. They’re working with @SJSUHumanRights, Berkeley’s Afghan Student Assoc., and @ScholarsAtRisk.
If you speak Farsi/Afghan Persian or Darsi and you’re able to help with translation, please leave a comment below that people in need could **connect with you directly.** Women, children, families are fleeing Afghanistan for their lives and the need to communicate will be critical.
CONTACT YOUR MPS
Please contact your politicians and put pressure on them to do more. If you’re in the UK you can contact the following:
Immediately, please follow (on Instagram/Twitter):
For more in-depth information and updates from the ground, follow:
HASHTAGS TO USE
Now I want to hear from you…
- What more can we do? What have I missed off? Please add to this blog by commenting below. I’ll update this post when more actions come in.
Thanks in advance!
Here’s to ending the suffering and living in a world where there is…peace for all.