Canadians taking action, in partnership with Afghan women, toward improving conditions of human rights, ending women’s oppression, and providing opportunities for Afghan women to live their lives with dignity, certainty and purpose.”
Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) is a charity and not-for-profit organization. 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, 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.
We work to advance educational opportunities for Afghan women and their families and to educate Canadians about human rights in Afghanistan. Our main program areas include: (1) Investments in Basic Education; (2) Community Libraries, Literacy and Books; (3) Technology for Education; (4) Public Engagement and (5) Afghanistan Policy Dialogue.
What We Do
In Canada, CW4WAfghan has almost 4,000 supporters who raise awareness and funds to support our programs. CW4WAfghan has sustained a dynamic group of core volunteers since our inception. Volunteers plan and host events, lead chapter meetings, and organize public outreach and advocacy activities. Volunteers support the national office’s activities, serve on national committees, and provide virtual services including research and communications tasks.
In Afghanistan, our dynamic and talented team of Afghan professionals manage, implement, monitor and provide support services for CW4WAfghan’s programs and operations. CW4WAfghan has successfully supported and implemented hundreds of education projects for two decades, with proven project management systems and accountability measures in place. CW4WAfghan currently has a project portfolio in several provinces that includes schools and school equipment, teacher training, educational resources, literacy classes and libraries.
Since our founding, CW4WAfghan has contributed to women’s empowerment through education, healthcare, rights awareness, and economic development. 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.
Protecting Positive Change
Access to education for women and girls in Afghanistan has improved significantly since the end of Taliban rule in 2001, and together with the tireless efforts of activists and educators in Afghanistan, CW4WAfghan is proud to have been a part of that success story. The total number of girls enrolled in schools across Afghanistan has gone from only 9,000 in 1999, to more than 2.4 million girls today. Societal norms and values have changed alongside these statistics; today, the majority of Afghans (87%), support the goal of gender equality in educational access and see barriers to education as the biggest challenge for women’s rights.
At the same time, recent success is fragile, as the current US-brokered Intra-Afghan talks could threaten advances made in women’s rights in multiple areas over the last two decades should the negotiators bargain away women’s rights, specifically the right to education, in concessionsdealings towith the Taliban. This is a growing, and valid, concern among Afghan citizens, and the concern is a valid one. The Taliban’s history and continued actions in violently opposing women’s empowerment should equally be a cause for concern in the international community. In particular, the Taliban has refused to clarify their position on the future of education, and the impact this could have on women and children could be far-reaching.
Canadians taking action, in partnership with Afghan women, towards improving conditions of human rights, ending women’s oppression, and providing opportunities for Afghan women to live their lives with dignity, certainty and purpose.
Individuals as global citizens value working in solidarity with integrity of purpose and action to affect positive change in the world through education and the promotion of social justice and human rights.
As outlined in our Constitution, the purpose of CW4WAfghan is to alleviate conditions of poverty in Afghanistan through programs that advance education opportunities for women in Afghanistan and their families; and to educate and increase the understanding of Canadians about human rights in Afghanistan.
To ensure effective long-term sustainable education programs for Afghan women and their families and to engage Canadians as global citizens.
CW4WAfghan is a non-religious, non-political, federally registered charity in Canada (Canada Revenue Agency #887718203RR0001).