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Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan

Updates

We need to take urgent action to protect the rights of women and girls in the current peace negotiations, and bring an end to the violence in Afghanistan. We are calling on supporters to use December 10th, World Human Rights Day, as an opportunity to come together on a large scale in speaking up for these rights. Let's show the world that Canadians care about, and are standing with the people of Afghanistan.

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan is outraged, shocked and saddened by the attack this morning on students, faculty and visitors at Kabul University which claimed 22 lives and left many others seriously injured. ur thoughts are with colleagues and students within the University community as well as with the many families who lost loved ones in this unspeakable attack. We join the people of Afghanistan in their day of mourning, and stand with them in loudly calling for a complete ceasefire amid escalating violence.

As an organization whose very mission is to ensure access to quality education at all levels, specifically for the women and girls of Afghanistan, CW4WAfghan is extremely troubled by the recent increase in overall violence, and particularly in targeted attacks on places of learning. These attacks are clearly designed to strike fear among students who are exercising their human right to education, and to squelch their dreams of a free, democratic and peaceful Afghanistan.

This most recent attack comes less than two weeks after an attack on an education centre in Kabul in which students in their teens were also killed. Children and young people in Afghanistan have the right to expect that their schools and classrooms will be places of safety and peace which support their human and intellectual development. Universities represent not only places of learning, but institutions where human development, critical thinking and the formation of robust civil society can flourish, and it is exactly these things which the perpetrators of this atrocity wish to see eradicated. 

Afghanistan has made many impressive advances in improving access to education for its population, particularly girls and women in the past two decades of its post-Taliban fledgling democracy. At this time, when the need to stand up and fight for the preservation of these gains is pressing in the face of repeated threats, CW4WAfghan remains firm in our commitment to ensuring quality, accessible and safe education for everyone, including women and girls, across the country, as a means to achieving long term peace. We express our deepest condolences to all those families who lost loved ones in today’s senseless attack, as well as in last month’s attack. We remain resolute in our belief that education is a right, and we will continue to advocate for and provide educational opportunities for the most marginalized and vulnerable in Afghanistan.

Our Voices - Our Future (OVOF) is a coalition representing thousands of Afghan women and individual activists, of which CW4WAfghan Afghanistan Policy Dialogue (APD) group members have been a part. As peace talks continue in Doha, Qatar,  OVOF has released an open letter addressed to leaders of the European Union, calling on them to stand in solidarity with the people, particularly women, of Afghanistan to ensure a transparent and fully inclusive peace process that not only brings about a ceasefire, but also "protects the rights of all Afghans and recognizes all citizens including women and minorities, as equal and free". CW4WAfghan stands in solidarity with OVOF and echos their calls for support. We know that for a just and durable peace to take hold during and beyond negotiations with the Taliban, the active support of the international community is required. The letter outlines specific ways in which EU leaders can lend their support to this process. Please read the letter in full, circulate this information to your contacts, and help ensure that Afghan women's voices are amplified so the can continue to be active agents for peace and development for the country's future. 

Each year CW4WAfghan recognizes one or a pair of individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the cause of education in Afghanistan. Afghan teacher Aziz Royesh and Calgarian Pat Cashion are the 2020 Champions for Education in Afghanistan.

We're marking International Literacy Day with an exciting announcement: the launch of a partnership with Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver program, an open source digital platform of multilingual children’s storybooks. The partnership will make hundreds of titles accessible to millions of children across Afghanistan, in their own languages. This digital literacy resource is all the more vital in the time of Covid-19, when learning opportunities have been severely limited by school closures.

Our Voices - Our Future (OVOF) is a coalition representing thousands of Afghan women and individual activists, of which CW4WAfghan Afghanistan Policy Dialogue (APD) group members have been a part. On the eve of peace negotiations, OVOF has released an open letter addressed to the Taliban, outlining our collective concern for the position of women, their security and participation in peace talks. With the Taliban refusing to clarify their position on women's basic rights, including access to education, healthcare, participation in public life and economic empowerment, and with few assurances that hard fought advances will be protected, we demand that women's voices be a part of the current peace process and the long-term rebuilding of the country. We stand with the women of the OVOF coalition, and indeed all the people of Afghanistan, calling on the international community to fulfill their duty to ensure a fair, transparent and just peace process that protects and advances the rights of women and girls. The evidence is clear: Afghan women demand a place at the table, and cases across the globe prove that sustainable peace only happens with their full participation.  

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

t: 1 (403) 244-5625
e: community@cw4wafghan.ca

Registered Charity #887718203RR0001

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