Support Initiatives
August 20, 2021

Here's how you can support vulnerable Afghans trapped under Taliban rule

Over the past week there have been many broken promises and contracts in Afghanistan, all of which threaten the respect and dignity with which we should see human rights. 

The first instance is the Taliban’s pledge to allow women to realise their rights to an education and work. On 17 August, the New York Times reported that the Taliban had ‘indefinitely suspended’ female employees from state television. One female news anchor on state television, Khadija Amin, testified to this rapid U-turn of Taliban policy. ‘The next generation will have nothing, everything we have achieved for 20 years will be gone. The Taliban is the Taliban. They have not changed,” Ms. Amin said. 

Such actions have proved to the world how empty the Taliban’s words were on Tuesday. We should be turning our attention to this gross violation of female rights and what is to come. 

According to the UNHCR, 80 percent of those fleeing Afghanistan this year are women and children. This means that on top of the issue of the Taliban’s oppressive policy towards women’s rights, there is also an unprecedented instance of vulnerable displaced women who have been victim to looting, kidnappings and violence. 

Despite the promise of ‘safe passage’ for fleeing Afghan’s, worrying reports of women and children being beaten and whipped at checkpoints further undermine Tuesday’s Taliban press conference. 

Moreover, classified UN threat assessment reports have recently confirmed that the Taliban are hunting down any Western-collaborators. They are even resorting to harming and threatening the relatives of collaborators. Last night, the horrific execution of an Afghan police commander was published on Twitter. 

The sad reality is that such collaborators were promised protection and evacuation, as seen in the UK government’s failing to make the key call to evacuate Afghan translators and collaborators. Western nations are displaying pure disregard for the rights of those who risked their own and their families’ lives to aid western forces. 

Sign a petition

To aid the recognition of Afghan translators as individuals at high risk of retaliation by the Taliban, and to demand their swift evacuation, you can sign either this petition to the US government or this one to the UK government.  

Donate to save vulnerable Afghans

You may donate to the UNHCR or Visions for Children, who are working to help those fleeing Afghanistan whilst also providing emergency aid on the ground. 

Protect Afghan journalists and media workers

To help defend Afghan journalists now under threat by the Taliban, you can donate to the Coalition for Women in Journalism, which is assisting Afghan refugees seeking to flee the country, or to the International Media Support’s partner, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, which is raising funds “to bring journalists to safety and keep independent media outlets operational.” Money donated will be used to fund shelters and safe houses, food, clothes, blankets and other utilities and support for independent media outlets.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has also launched an international solidarity campaign and established a special fund in order to channel support for Afghan journalists.

Rukhshana Media, a collective of female journalists, is asking for ​readers’ help to continue their reporting on the unfolding situation in Afghanistan​. It is trying to raise $20,000 for that purpose.

If you are a US-based media professional who worked in Afghanistan and wish to help, you may consult this Twitter thread by journalist and professor Azmat Khan. 

Women-Focused initiatives

For the specific issue of Afghan women, check out Women for Afghan Women, who are currently evacuating centres and "working day and night to provide safe shelter, resources and aid" to thousands of vulnerable women and children.

Alternatively, support women’s media and female reporters by following Rukshana Media and Sahar Speaks and by donating to the International Women's Media Foundation, which is raising money to support women journalists in Afghanistan.

Spread the word on social media

Of course, you can always show your support on social media by using the hashtags #Afghanistan #HelpAfghanistan #AfghanLivesMatter.

Image by: Cordelia Persen.

Call to Action
Here's how you can support vulnerable Afghans trapped under Taliban rule