Over the last 20 years, opportunities have been created in Afghanistan to help a new generation of women gain more education and social participation. Against this backdrop, the hasty and far too premature withdrawal of Western military forces from the country has been a disaster for millions of young women and girls and their human rights!
On 15th August 2021, the Taliban completed their takeover of Afghanistan and captured the capital, Kabul. As a result, two decades of progress have been wiped out overnight and the hard-won progress on women’s rights is now in jeopardy. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been trying to flee the country, where a humanitarian crisis is looming.
The people in Afghanistan must not be forgotten. It is immensely important to continue reporting on the country and the situation on the ground in order to keep public attention on the ground. In particular, those affected must have their say. In response, HÁWAR.help and its partners have launched the “Defend Afghan Women’s Rights” initiative and raised over €160,000 for Afghan women’s organizations providing urgent humanitarian aid on the ground. However, the situation remains critical and media coverage has decreased recently. We want to change this with #AfghanistanWeSeeYou.
With our BACK TO LIFE – Afghanistan project, we are supporting women and girls in the country who have had to flee domestic violence and forced marriage. The project’s aim is to give women a path to a new life.
The history of repression of women and minorities under Taliban rule has caused rampant fear among Afghan women and human rights advocates around the world. Bans on employment, education, and even on leaving the house without a male relative, have become a bitter reality for the more than 19 million women living in the country. In addition, half of the Afghan population, around 18 million people, is dependent on humanitarian assistance. Some 3.5 million Afghans are internally displaced, while almost as many have fled to neighboring countries or the region at large. The struggling economy has deteriorated further since the Taliban came to power. Many people who used to be able to provide for themselves have lost their work, resulting in them and their families becoming dependent on assistance. At the same time, a severe drought is decimating the harvest yields.
“You are women of different faiths and backgrounds, and you work together because you believe that all human beings are entitled to the same rights and to the same dignity. You are a ray of light in these dark days for Afghanistan.”
Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission
“It’s not about Afghanistan, Germany or France: it’s about humanity. It is about our shared world. Right now, a member of the international family has fallen ill: Afghanistan. Please show your support for our country, for all the people of Afghanistan.”
Former Mayor of Maidan Shar
“It is about solidarity and support, and that is why we came together, especially to show Afghan women and Afghan civilian population: you are not alone in your pain.”
“I remember very well how the news reached me, the phone rang, at the other end were my parents. They said the Taliban were outside Kabul and the city, it would fall.”
#AfghanistanWeSeeYou is supported by the following partners: