So You Want To Help Women & Girls In Afghanistan — 6 Ways To Provide Real Support Today

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women in afghanistan

After the Taliban took over Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday, August 15th, they began solidifying control over Afghanistan's citizens, residents, and women and children.

Women and girls, in particular, are now in need of assistance as their rights and their lives may be at stake

Thousands of men, women, and children are trying to flee, as almost 30,000 Afghan's are leaving each week and many more are displaced around or in the countries on the border of Afghanistan. 

The Taliban recently vowed that they would "respect women’s rights" this time around, according to the AP. However, the Taliban does has a long history of not treating women with respect, denying them access to education and removing basic freedoms.

How to help women in Afghanistan — Where to donate, petition & lobby.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, since May of 2021, 80% of the nearly 250,000 people in Afghanistan who left their homes were women and children. The U.N. also reported that the total number of women and children killed and injured in Afghanistan was increased in May and June. During that same time, the U.S. and other international troops were withdrawing their remaining troops from Afghanistan.

Since the Taliban takeover, the U.S. has deployed thousands of troops to help people evacuate, however, you might be questioning what you to help. That's why we created a list of things that you can do to actually help. 

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1. Petition to your elected officials.

In order to help on a more local level, you can write a letter to your elected officials petitioning and speaking out in support of U.S. aid to Afghanistan at this trying time. 

This letter can offer an incentive for them to actually act on it. Make sure before you start a petition to your elected officials that you actually educate yourself about the conflict that's going on from verified news sources so you can critically advocate for action and remind your elected officials of how dire this situation is. 

To help you out, some kind folks have made letter templates and phone scripts, forms to contact politicians, and lists of helpful contact information for your local officials. 

2. Sign up for petitions.

There are lots of petitions out there that you can sign up, for now, to help ensure women's rights in Afghanistan. There are also petitions to ensure Afghan refugees have safe passage out of Afghanistan.

You don't have to donate money to these petitions, however, it sure would help in the fight to keep women's rights and lives safe in Afghanistan.

3. Support women's advocacy organizations.

There are many women's advocacy organizations that are currently using their voices to plea to protect Afghan women and using their platform to spread the word about how to help.

Donate to 'Women For Women International.'

'Women For Women International' is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that works to provide paths towards equity and security for female survivors of war. They are currently collecting donations from people all around the world to help women in Afghanistan find safe travel and places to meet in order to stay connected. 

They have programs called 'Stronger Women, Stronger Nations' program which has been empowering Afghan women since 2002. 

Donate here to "provide a lifeline for women in Afghanistan during their time of need."

Donate to 'Women For Afghan Women.'

'Women For Afghan Women,' is a civil society organization which, according to their website, is "dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York."

By supporting this organization you can help Afghan women and girls exercise their rights, and provide Afghan women representation in politics, increase their social rights, and challenge the norms that underpin gender-based violence, and bring about change.

Donate to their emergency fund to provide safe shelter, resources, and aid for thousands of women, children, families, and their staff in Afghanistan.

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4. Donate to Humanitarian aids.

Currently, humanitarian aid and support are running scarce right now in Afghanistan and they need our help. There are a few different organizations that you can donate to that will use your donations to protect men, women, and children in danger and provide them aid in the form of medical assistance, food, and access to shelter.

Donate to UNHCR.

UNHCR or the United Nations Refugee Agency is currently accepting donations to help refugees fleeing the country and provide them with emergency shelter, lifesaving aid, food, medicine, and clean water. 

Support Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

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MSF, or the Afghan arm of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), is continuing to provide a presence in Herat, Kandahar, Khost, Kunduz, and Lashkar Gah, as they are providing aid for those who need medical assistance. 

Donations to their organisation will not go exclusively to Afghanistan and may also be used in other nations but their medical support is still vital.

5. Support women's media and female reporters in Afghanistan.

Afghan journalists and women journalists who are in Afghanistan need your help and support. Currently, they are facing massive threats not just for covering the news there, but for being a woman in media, which is an industry the Taliban target and threaten. 

Donate to Rukhshana Media.

In order to help Afghan women journalists, you can support Rukhshana Media, a female-led company that exclusively covers issues that affect Afghan women including, "the taboo of menstruation, child marriage, street harassment and economic hardship to violence and gender discrimination and what it means to live as a survivor of rape."

6. Show your support on social media. 

Keep yourself up to date on the current situation that's going on in Afghanistan and use your own social media to share credible and accurate information and news that's being reported to keep the conversation alive. Don't let the fight for human rights and women's rights in Afghanistan be forgotten.

You can repost others' information or find and share organizations that are dedicated to helping women and children in Afghanistan. No matter what you decide to do, Afghanistan needs your help. 

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers pop culture, love and relationships, and self-care.