Our Mission:

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan exists to make the right to learn a reality for Afghan women and girls.

We uphold the fundamental human right to a quality education by providing purposeful educational programs and access to opportunities that foster agency, dignity, and choice. ​

Our Vision:

We envision an equitable and peaceful world where all women and girls are empowered with the freedom and opportunity to learn.

Our Values:

Education is a Right: Everyone is entitled to an education. This right must be upheld in every circumstance.

Human Rights are Universal: Human rights are for everyone regardless of culture, religion, gender, nationality or any other point of identity. This informs all of our programming.

Partnership: Our founding tenet: listen to the voices of Afghan women. We work in partnership and consultation with Afghan women and girls and with civil society organizations to support the right to learn.

Inclusion: Protecting human rights is everyone’s responsibility. We call for global citizenship and invite everyone to be engaged in our collective human movement to uphold the right to learn.

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) is a charity and not-for-profit organization.

CW4WAfghan is an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO (consultative status) and an organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council since 2023.

Since our founding in 1998, CW4WAfghan has:

  • trained more than 10,000 teachers,
  • provided literacy classes for nearly 5,000 students,
  • distributed nearly 300 school library starter kits,
  • established 40 community libraries and 262 science labs, and
  • shared thousands of resources through our Darakht-e Danesh Digital Library.

This progress is measurable and powerful in the fight for gender equality. Yet, all these gains were suddenly put at risk when the Taliban re-took power in Afghanistan and resumed ruling the country through an armed take-over on August 15, 2021. Fear and panic descended over the country as millions attempted, and are still attempting, to flee. Afghanistan now faces not only a crisis of governance and human rights, but also the possibility of economic collapse, a humanitarian emergency and state failure. Our response to these events is to doubledown our efforts and affirm our commitment to women and girls. We continue to support women and girls both within Afghanistan, as well as those who wish to leave due to fears of persecution. As many Afghan women insist in protests that have been held across Afghanistan since mid-August, they will “never go back.” We will be there with them to prevent a reversal of their rights and freedoms.

Our main program areas include: (1) Investing in Basic Education; (2) Community and Family Literacy; (3) Technology for Education; (4) Public Engagement;  (5) Advocacy and Afghanistan Policy Dialogue; (6) Grants and Scholarships; and (7) Safe Harbour: Protecting the Right to Education Through Resettlement.

Why Education?

Over the years, the evidence emerged that education was the most strategically important area in which we could invest, where funds raised could travel the furthest and leave an impact in present and future generations.

Access to quality education, from adult literacy classes to having trained teachers in public schools, contributes to every other social, economic, and political development objective of Afghanistan.

Education is a basic, universal human right. We believe that a literate population with access to viable education and economic opportunities will be Afghanistan’s greatest stabilizing force and its best hope for a lasting peace.