On November 17, the Women’s Committee and International Committee of NWU held an online screening of Afghan Women: A History of Struggle. As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last summer, more than 140 media outlets closed or were forcibly turned over to Taliban control. Many staff have fled. The director of the Afghanistan media and information center was assassinated in Kabul.
Women journalists were banned from working and fearful for their lives. One union leader reported that the day after the Taliban arrived in Kabul: “98 per cent of the media is silent. The remaining 2 per cent are dedicated to Taliban policy without women and music.” Thousands of journalists and media workers have lost their jobs, and many fear they will be quickly forgotten by the news organizations they have worked for, for the past 20 years.
NWU is working to provide emergency support, to help journalists take protective measures, seek safety and where necessary to leave the country, and contributed $1,000 to the IFJ Safety Fund to try and guarantee safety for all media workers in the country.
With the help of pro bono lawyers and funds raised, the Afghan Women’s Fund has filed humanitarian parole applications on behalf of 54 people (9 families). Some are our family members, most are our volunteers who have dedicated their lives to our mission, and for that their lives are now in danger. We are asking for funds and for people to befriend them when they arrive.
Once they get visas, they will need financial help:
– For airfares and other expenses to transfer them from Afghanistan.
– Help with rent, utility bills, once they are settled here.
– Furniture ( even if is used, for example from salvation army stores, thrift stores)
– Gift cards from grocery stores or department stores.
Donations can be made at our Afghan Women’s Fund website: https://www.afghanwomensfund.org/
As they settle in they will also need volunteers/ sponsors for one or two people or a whole family:
– Help them learn English, get familiar with the culture.
– Help them find jobs, get higher education.
Large or small, a few hours or several hours, any support for any number of refugees is appreciated.
If you sign up, we will send you the names of a family along with their immediate needs, you can choose to support them in one or more areas.
We will update you as things progress.
Fahima Gaheez firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen Foster email@example.com