One year on: Don’t forget women and girls of Afghanistan


Australians are being urged not to forget the women and girls of Afghanistan as they grapple with a worsening humanitarian crisis, one year since the dramatic scenes in the country.


Australia for UNHCR, together with UNHCR’s Regional Representation in Canberra, said today there are still millions of Afghans who need help from the international community to provide basics like food and shelter. “My plea to Australians is not to forget those people who still need our help, including women and girls,” said Australia for UNHCR CEO Trudi Mitchell. 

One year ago, Women on Boards sent a message to our sisters in Afghanistan, as the country captured the world’s attention when the elected government swiftly collapsed a year ago and thousands of people fled to Kabul’s airport. We urged members to join us join us in supporting two charities - UNHCR and Mahboba’s Promise - as we sought to do any little bit that we can to reach out to our Afghani sisters in a desperate time of need.

Twelve months on, conflict, human rights abuses, ongoing drought, economic crisis, food insecurity, and natural disasters have continued to wrack the country.

As the attention of the world has shifted elsewhere, organisations such as the UN Refugee Agency - and charities such as Australian aid agency Mahboba’s Promise - have continued to focus on humanitarian needs and human rights in Afghanistan, including advocating for women and girls.

“Women and girls must be given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of public life in Afghanistan, including education and employment,” said Trudi Mitchell. “Without that participation, there is little chance of achieving lasting stability and economic development in the country.”

UNHCR has constructed several resource centres for women in areas of Afghanistan it prioritises for the voluntary return of refugees and conflict-displaced people. These facilities offer computer and coding classes, language training, day-care activities, psycho-social support programs, tailoring training, and space for women-run businesses.

Mahboba’s Promise is an Australian non-profit organisation dedicated to helping disadvantaged women and children in Afghanistan founded by Mahboba Rawi, an Afghan refugee and now an Australian citizen.

Despite the current turmoil undergoing in Afghanistan, Mahboba’s Promise has remained committed to maintain connections on the ground, further strengthening their direct ties to the community.

The Mahboba's Promise team is currently supporting more than 700 impacted families who have been recently displaced from Panjshir Valley into the Parwan province. People are left without shelter or housed with over a dozen in single room. They do not have access to food and basic necessities and children are impacted the most.

In March and April this year, staff visited Afghanistan to review existing projects on the ground and assist with the implementation of new ones as part of their continual efforts to help disadvantaged women and children in Afghanistan.

WOB is supporting both charities. To donate visit:

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