Canadian writer Deborah Ellis works to raise awareness of the situation in Afghanistan and creates an informal group called Women for Women in Afghanistan.
Soon after, Deborah travels to Pakistan and is impassioned by the stories of Afghan women refugees. Women for Women in Afghanistan is shifted to a national organization with the help of Janice Eisenhauer, first volunteer Executive Director, and Carolyn Reicher, first Board President. The group’s grounding principle: listen to Afghan women’s voices.
Women for Women in Afghanistan’s first chapter is formed in Calgary, Alberta.
Vancouver and Victoria Chapters are founded and the first community fundraising events are held for “secret” schools in Afghanistan.
Founding members participate in appeals to Canadian Ministers to put forward a UN resolution condemning the Taliban’s human rights abuses against women.
Photo (left): Co-founder Janice Eisenhauer, signing CW4WAfghan’s first organization by-laws in 1998.