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Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan

Afghan Civil Society Organizations

The following is a sample list of some of the many Afghan civil society organizations located in Afghanistan with programming directly supporting women and girls:

Aid to Afghan Women and Children: AAWC was established in 1997 in the refugee camps outside of Peshawar Pakistan. It is a very small, grassroots organization managed by Bib Haji Mariam Zaman and her competent staff. The goals and objectives of AAWC are to support the Afghan widows, orphans and children of poor vulnerable families, all with little or no access to education or basic food and clothing. As well in 1997, AAWC opened a school in Maimana City of Faryab Province for orphans and other needy children. CW4WAfghan provided their first grant in 2005 of US$7,000 to help cover teachers' salaries at this school. In 2003 an office was opened in Kabul with a school and complete clinic. The schools are called Fatema-tul-Zahra.

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission was established pursuant to Bonn Agreement (5 December 2001) and on the basis of decree of the Chairman of the Interim Administration, June 6, 2002, and resolution 134/48 of United Nations general assembly in 1993 and Paris principles and on the basis of article 58 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and now the Commission is performing its activities in the areas of promotion, protection and monitoring of human rights.

Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) is a women-led non-governmental organization (NGO) that uses a creative, responsive, and dedicated approach to meet the health and education needs of Afghan women, children, and communities. AIL trains and works with health and education professionals and organizations. AIL’s programs include teacher training; health professional training and health education; leadership and human rights training; and supporting home schools, community based organizations, women's learning centers, and a pre-school education program.

Afghan Women's Education Centre: AWEC is a non-governmental, non-political, indigenous Afghan women's organization that has been operating in refugee communities in Islamabad since 1991. AWEC has an office in Kabul and runs the Center for Women and Street Children in Kabul. The centre aims to improve the status of women as leaders and agents of positive change in an Islamic and traditional Afghan society, to work towards the improvement of living conditions of marginalized women and children and to increase women's self-sufficiency and independence. The objectives are to provide education programs for children, literacy for women, health services, vocational training and work in the area of peace education. To view their web site please visit

Afghan Women's Network: AWN is comprised of over 2000 individual members from Afghanistan and Pakistan and over 62 Afghan women non-government organizations. AWN was created in 1995 by Afghan women as they recognized the value of working collaboratively towards their common goals. The network members work in both Pakistan and Afghanistan to the benefit of all Afghan women: refugees, rural women and educated women. As a representational and capacity building body, AWN is playing a critical role in the transition and reconstruction of Afghanistan. The goal is to build capacity of Afghan women to take active part in changing Afghan community attitudes towards women and children, and to participate in rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country in the private as well as civil services.

Afghan Women's Resource Centre: AWRC programmes are designed to improve access for Afghan women to security, education and employment and health care. AWRC was founded by a group of over 80 educated Afghan women in 1989 with the aim of involving Afghan women at all levels in building peace and security in their country. Projects include education and literacy training, income generation and skills development, as well as training for basic health services both in Afghan refugee camps near Peshawar, Pakistan, and throughout rural and urban centres in Afghanistan. After opening their offices in Kabul in 2002, AWRC has expanded its programming (see details: Women's Community Based Resource Centres) in and around Kabul, Jalalabad and in other areas throughout 2003 and 2004, as funds allow. CW4WAfghan has been able to support a number of resource centres in rural and ubran areas in order to empower women at the grass root levels. The most recent grant will provide women with assistance in coordinating and marketing their products for sale in local, national and international markets.

Afghan Women’s Rights  List (AWRL) is an informal and evolving email list for networking and information sharing  with members from NGOs,INGOS, UN agencies, academics, donors, individuals, government officials, parliamentarians and others  - all with strong interests in Afghan Women's Rights. To join the Group please go to:

Afghan Women's Skills Development Centre (AWSDC) is a non profit organization established in 1999 with programming focusing on the needs of Afghan women, including widows and the disabled or chronicaly ill, and orphan children. The goals of AWSDC are to reduce the suffering of Afghan women and children through promotion of peace and initiation of rehabilitation and development oriented projects reaching the most vulnerable populations in the remote and urban areas of Afghanistan. Currently it is functioning through a central office in Kabul, Afghanistan. It has implemented a number of emergency, relief and development projects involving vocational skills training, literacy, english and computer classes, and providing facilities for informative workshops, resources, networking and collaboration with other organizations.

Afghan Womens Welfare Development (AWWD) is a non-affiliated, nonprofit and non-governmental Afghan women NGO, established in July 1989. The mission statement for AWWD has been to deal with the great educational, social, economical and medical needs of the Afghan women. During the past fifteen years of AWWD work with Afghan women, the aim has been to lead Afghan women towards self-sufficiency by improving their education, social, economical and medical life. AWWD has played an essential role in improving social and educational status of Afghan women during its work in rural and urban areas. This aim has been achieved either by providing education services such as literacy, computer, English etc training or by providing women with employment opportunities through its projects. CW4WAfghan has funded teachers' salaries and library resources.

Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghansitan (HAWCA) is a non-political, non-governmental and not profit making organization was established in January 1999 by a group of youth Afghan women and men. HAWCA's establishment was motivated by the despair and devastation suffered by Afghan women and children as victims of war and injustice in Afghanistan and as refugees in Pakistan. HAWCA is providing free social services in the following fields for the women and children of Afghanistan: Education; Protection and Counseling; Health and Child-Care; Emergency Response Operations; Sponsorship and Promoting Income-Generating Activities.

Noor Education Centre (NEC) The Noor Education Centre was established in January 2001 by a young volunteer group of Afghan women. Their motto, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness", helps to direct their positive efforts towards creating strong programmes in support of Afghan women and children. NEC programmes include awareness-raising in gender, human rights, and children's rights issues; english, literacy, health and Quranic education classes; home schools; vocational training and special classes such as sign language and other programs for disabled women.  CW4WAfghan has funded the Nazoo Annah Library since 2004, which is part of the NEC programming. A grant of $25,000 was allocated in 2007 and 2008 from the WildRose Foundation in Alberta to this project.

PARSA is a non-government organization providing integrated educational and economic development programs for the widows, orphans, and disabled people of Afghanistan.  CW4WAfghan initially funded a silk weaving project in 2000 which has rapidly expanded and contributed towards the success of PARSA's gift shop. For the widows who make the gift shop items, this is their only source of income to support their families. The average income per month for the women depends upon sales and normally ranges between $20 and $50 per month. The women take great pride in the excellent quality of their work and in completing custom orders in a timely manner.   CW4WAfghan imports these handcrafted Afghan products for sale in Canada.  For more details please see

Shuhada Organization: objective is to help raise funds to support the work of Dr. Sima Samar and Shuhada Organization. Shuhada is a non-profit, non-political and non-governmental organization established in 1989 with an emphasis on the empowerment of Afghan women and children. Projects include: health, education, home-based schools, income generation and relief distribution. CW4WAfghan first sent funds to help purchase medical supplies for the internally displaced refugees in Afghanistan through a mobile health clinic operated by Shuhada in 2001. For many years, CW4WAfghan has been able to fund teachers' salaries for a Shuhada girls' school in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. See Shuhada's web site for specific information on their programming:

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
PO Box 86016, Marda Loop, Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2T 6B7

t: 1 (403) 244-5625

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