Campaign Supporting Secondary School Girls' Right to Education
Education is a basic human right, but currently in Afghanistan, girls over the age of 12 are being denied the opportunity to learn. After promising to reopen secondary schools to female students following a seven month ban, on March 23 the Taliban doubled down on their system of gender apartheid, keeping school doors closed to female students.
The Taliban have proven to the international community what Afghan women have been telling us all along: they cannot be trusted to deliver on women’s rights, and global public pressure is needed.
CW4WAfghan has developed easy to use tools and resources to support you in your advocacy. Take action and stand in solidarity with as many as 5 million Afghan girls who have been barred from school.
Afghan Students Speak Out
Post a Message on Social Media
We encourage you to bookmark News to keep up with the rapidly changing situation.
- Immigration Minister Sean Fraser offers no timeline on resettling Afghan refugees as desperation grows, Globe and Mail
- CW4WAfghan Executive Director on Global News discussing the plight of Afghan Girls and International Day of the Girl
- How the West can influence the Taliban, Al Jazeera Media View with Murwarid Ziayee
- With her family stranded in Afghanistan, Murwarid Ziayee says Canada failed refugees, with Lauryn Oates and Murwarid Ziayee, CTV News
- Lauryn Oates on Global Radio – around 18 minute mark
- Lauryn on CBC Radio Ottawa Morning -click August 30 segment What Future do Women’s Education Projects Have Under Taliban? (Lauryn around 2 minute mark)
- What future do women’s education projects have under the Taliban, Ottawa Morning Radio with Lauryn Oates
- Canadians must help ease the chaos in Afghanistan, Lauryn Oates, Troy Media
- Global News – ‘They’re not going to have mercy on our family’: Fear for women, girls left in Afghanistan
- The Uncertain future of Afghan women and girls, Murwarid Ziayee on Global News
Campaign to Secure and Expand Options for Afghans to Safely Exit Afghanistan
Recent Taliban threats are restricting the right of Afghans to leave Afghanistan and reports of evacuees being detained for “illegally” exiting the country.
Join CW4WAfghan as we call on Canada to focus on securing and expanding options for Afghans to safely exit Afghanistan. Read our recommendations for the IRCC below, and view our campaign resources to see how you can support the safe passage of Afghan nationals.
Don’t forget to email us at [email protected] or tag us on social media:
- @CW4WAfghan (Facebook and Twitter)
- @cw4wafghanistan (Instagram)
Such alternatives could include entry permits to facilitate movement to a regional hub such as Pakistan or Tajikistan for onward travel.
Immediately prioritize the processing and acceptance of Special Immigration Measures applicants.
The Afghans who supported our mission in Afghanistan are at high risk due to their enduring relationship with our country, and Canada has a particular responsibility to ensure their protection.
Facilitate and fund the establishment of a regional hub for the processing of Afghans in the IRCC system.
A safer and more accessible alternative to Pakistan must be found, such as Tajikistan. Canada must continue and increase use of all diplomatic channels, and coordinate with allies and partners regionally.
Remove the requirement for Afghan refugees to obtain UNHCR Convention refugee status in order to be eligible for sponsorship in Canada.
This requirement is creating a severe backlog in the processing of refugees, and makes safe passage unattainable for many.
Given the extreme circumstances in Afghanistan, waive the expectation that those entering Canada on student visas prove their intention to return to the county.
Many Afghans have been successful in securing admission to Canadian higher education institutions only to have their student visa applications turned down by IRCC on the grounds that they are suspected of not departing when the visa expires.
Take Action: Send a Letter to the IRCC
Join us in taking action. Send a letter to Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship at [email protected]
Spread the Word on Social Media
Help us share our recommendations! Download our social media assets and sample posts using the button below.
Don’t forget to tag us on social media:
- @CW4WAfghan (Facebook and Twitter)
- @cw4wafghanistan (Instagram)
Sample Social Media Posts
I’m proud of Canada’s role providing welcome & refuge for those fleeing persecution. Canada can continue to make progress on its promise to resettle vulnerable #Afghans. @SeanFraserMP read these recommendations from @CW4WAfghan on concrete actions needed to preserve lives
Millions of #Afghans remain at risk under #Taliban rule. Canada has an important role to play in getting them to safety, incl working regionally to facilitate safe passage through neighbouring countries, and streamlining reqs for identity docs. @SeanFraserMP
Given the extreme situation in Afghanistan, we shouldn’t ask #Afghan students accepted into our Higher Ed programs to prove their intent to return. @SeanFraserMP please waive this req to help fulfil our promises to resettle 40k vulnerable Afghans.
Demand Leadership and Action
Canada is a global leader in promoting the importance of women in peace and security internationally, exemplified through our country’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Join us in demanding the Canadian Government leverage this global leadership position and the legacy of our country’s efforts in Afghanistan in influencing the international community, the US Government, and NATO.
Our advocacy work is rapidly transitioning to ensure humanitarian assistance. We will post updates as we learn more from our team on the ground in Afghanistan. We draw on the expertise of an Advisory Council of Afghan women from politics and civil society, as well as the perspectives and priorities of diverse activists in our coalition networks.
Post on social media. Use the hashtags #StandWithAfghanistan #HumanRightsAreUniversal
Remember to tag us @CW4WAfghan (on Facebook and Twitter)/ @cw4wafghanistan (on Instagram)!
Afghan community organizing rally to call attention to country’s crisis with Lauryn Oates, CBC News
Broken Promises in Afghanistan, Lauryn Oates, Calgary Herald
Lauryn Oates in Calgary Herald: “If we don’t do this right, it will be a bloodbath.
Najia Haneefi, Ottawa Chapter co-chair on the Unsettled Situation, CBC Radio.
Lauryn Oates on Power and Politics: “My concern is for every last woman and girl in Afghanistan”
Murwarid Ziayee speaks about her concern for women and girls in Fashion Magazine
‘We need your solidarity’: Sarah Keeler on Global news
“Canada has ‘no plans’ to recognize Taliban as Afghanistan government” says Trudeau, including an interview with Sarah Keeler, Global News
As Taliban take over Afghanistan, many women ‘have real reason to be terrified’, Sarah Keeler in Toronto Star
Calgary-based aid group mobilizes against human rights violations of Afghani women, Lauryn Oates and Murwarid Ziayee on CTV Calgary
Concerns mount for Afghanistan’s women and girls, Sarah Keeler and Murwarid Ziayee on Global News
Taliban Boot Looms Large: Canada’s National Post looks at the growing crisis in Afghanistan and the role CW4WAfghan play, both on the ground delivering basic needs and helping remotely.
Western Amnesia and the Trauma of Taliban Rule, by Lauryn Oates, The Dimplomat, April 30, 2021
Without a Ceasefire, Peace Talks for Afghanistan Are a Sham, by Lauryn Oates, The Calgary Herald, November 23, 2020
- Access to Education is Fundamental to the Protection of Afghan Women’s Rights, by Murwarid Ziayee and Sarah Keeler, Ms. Magazine, September 1, 2020
- Afghans Know What a Desirable Peace Looks Like, and It’s One Where Rights Truly Exist, by Murwarid Ziayee, Medium, April 16, 2020
- US-Taliban agreement leaves Afghan women in jeopardy, by Nadia Hashimi, The Hill, March 14, 2020
- Peace with the Taliban comes at the expense of Afghanistan’s women, by Sally Armstrong, The Globe & Mail, March 6, 2020
- Afghan women will reject Taliban rule: First Lady, by Anwar Iqbal, Dawn, November 2019
- What the Taliban are telling themselves about war and peace, Christian Science Monitor, September 2019
- Without Afghan Women, There Can Be No Peace, Feminist Majority Foundation statement, September 2019
- Trump’s Taliban peace talks have collapsed. But many Afghans aren’t surprised — or sad, By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, NBC News, September 2019
- Yes, the Taliban has changed — it’s gotten much better at PR, By Tanya Goudsouzian, The Washington Post, August 2019
- Afghans Want the Right Peace Deal, Not Just an End to Violence, By Belquis Ahmadi, US Institute for Peace, August 2019
- The Taliban Promise to Protect Women. Here’s Why Women Don’t Believe Them, By Cora Engelbrecht, The New York Times, July 2019
Female delegates during the opening ceremony of the Grand Assembly, April 29, 2019. An expected agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban to smooth future negotiations raises concerns that women may lose some freedoms. (Jim Huylebroek/The New York Times)
- What Will Peace Talks Bode for Afghan Women? Briefing Note, International Crisis Group, April 2020
- Afghan Women Draw #MyRedLine for Peace with the Taliban
- Rights of Afghan Women and Peace Negotiations, APPRO, May 2019
- Fragility and Making Peace: Rights of Afghan Women and Peace With the Taliban, Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organization (APPRO), May 2019
- Peace Negotiations with Taliban, APPRO, April 2019
- Statement on Afghan Women’s Vision for Ceasefire, January 2021
- Never Go Back: Our Position on Negotiations With the Taliban (2020),
- Summary of CW4WAfghan Position on Taliban Negotiations, March 2020
- Call to Commit to the Protection of Women’s Rights (2019)
- What Needs to Happen (2017)
- CW4WAfghan is a signatory of the open letter in support of the Afghan people by friends of Afghanistan. As US and NATO forces withdraw, we must not abandon the Afghan people and their democratic republic.
- Human Rights Watch joins Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability.
- Letter to Taliban 2021, May 2021, Afghan Women’s Network
- Statement on the Assassination of Two Female Supreme Court Judges
- Letter in protest of US Special Representative for Afghan Peace Sidelining Women, March 2021
- An Open Letter to President Biden, Our Voices, Our Future, January 2021
- Sign and share this petition created by WLUML calling for a ceasefire and protections of Afghan women’s rights.
- An Open Letter to European Union Leaders, Our Voices, Our Future, October 2020
- An Open Letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Our Voices, Our Future, October 2020
- An Open Letter from World Leaders Calling for Afghan Women’s Meaningful Participation in the Peace Process, September 2020
- An Open Letter to Our Allies, Our Voices, Our Future, September 2020
- An Open Letter to the Taliban, Our Voices, Our Future, August 2020