In the last six months, the world has seen devastating images of Afghan people fleeing the country as the Taliban has regained control. We know that women and girls in Afghanistan are under extreme pressure, being denied education, careers and certain medical services, and facing violence, abuse and exploitation.
Women and girls have always paid a high price in men's wars, but rarely is the price as visible as it is in Afghanistan. We know what Taliban rule means for women and girls there and we can't in good conscience just walk away and do nothing to help them.
So, we need to stand in solidarity with all Afghan women and support them wherever we can.
If you feel compelled to do something, here are a few options:
1) For help on the ground right now, consider donating to organizations that have a strong track record of helping Afghan women and girls.
For more than two decades, Aktion gegen den Hunger has been providing life-saving aid in Afghanistan. The international organization treats acutely malnourished children, provides medical advice to pregnant women and nursing mothers in particular, and delivers humanitarian aid through mobile clinics in the most remote regions.
2) Be an advocate for refugee rights and women’s rights in your community, support local initiatives and help Afghan women in your area to have their own demands heard.
If you want to learn more about the current situation in Afghanistan, we highly recommend you watch our interview with Afghan peace and women’s rights activist Atifa Rezaei.
3) Become an advocate yourself and write to your local government representative about your concerns for the rights of Afghan girls and women. Ask your government to be inclusive and welcoming to those fleeing the country.
World leaders must not forget the urgent needs of Afghan women and girls. The world cannot afford to turn its back.
If you want to learn more about the current situation in Afghanistan, we recommend the outstanding documentary "Ghosts of Afghanistan" by Julian Sher & Graeme Smith. It is currently online available in a TV version. For further information, please have a look at our panel discussion on the situation in Afghanistan with journalist and analyst Graeme Smith, MEP Hannah Neumann and Afghan peace activist Ahmad Shah Karimi.