FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, (New York, NY) March 30, 2022
As members of the senior leadership and the Board of Directors of Women for Afghan Women (WAW), a US-based NGO, it is imperative that we clarify the legitimacy of the meeting in Kabul between two former board members and Taliban authorities. While we recognize the past leadership of the former board and staff members who attended this meeting, they do not represent WAW or our policies, and they are not authorized to make any contractual arrangements on behalf of the organization.
As a grassroots organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls, Women for Afghan Women (WAW) has worked tirelessly since its founding in 2001 to provide life changing, community-based programs to thousands of Afghan women, children and families throughout Afghanistan and the United States.
Amidst unprecedented challenges to our work brought on by the political, economic, and humanitarian upheaval that has gripped Afghanistan since August 2021, WAW continues to do our best to support those who remain in Afghanistan and also Afghan refugees in the United States. The pressures and complexities of trying to continue services and support under a new regime have been extreme. Security issues have led to unlawful detentions, harassment and threats to WAW staff, facilities and resources.
Still, our dedicated team continues to do what they can to safely and securely provide as much support and assistance to Afghan women and girls as possible. We have helped thousands of women and girls across Afghanistan receive critical financial assistance so they can meet their basic needs, such as food, shelter, healthcare and education. And we have successfully helped hundreds of WAW staff, clients and their families evacuate the country to safety.
The WAW team in the United States has rapidly scaled up our operations and support for Afghan women and girls who have been evacuated, including work to help relocate and support transitions to new homes, as well as the opening of a new resource center in Virginia that will serve thousands of Afghan refugees who now live in the region.
As our work continues, we are partnering with other organizations working in Afghanistan to expand our reach and provide additional humanitarian support to more women, girls, and families in need, including the critical distribution of food and other healthcare goods. Like many other aid and development organizations, WAW continues to assess on a daily basis the best ways for our team to work in a way that holds true to our commitment to women and girls, while ensuring staff and clients are not put in harm’s way.
We want to recognize the contributions of WAW founder and former Board chairperson Sunita Viswanath and former Board person Masuda Sultan while also clarifying that they are no longer formally involved with WAW as an organization in the US or in Afghanistan. For further clarification, Mr. Seyed Moheb Haqiq is no longer WAW’s Afghanistan Country Director. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.
Thank you for your ongoing support as we stand together to serve Afghan women and girls.
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Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to securing and protecting the rights of disenfranchised Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and New York, particularly their rights to develop their individual potential, to self-determination, and to be represented in all areas of life: political, social, cultural, and economic. WAW advocates for women’s rights and challenges the norms that underpin gender-based violence wherever opportunities arise to influence attitudes and bring about change.