Alliance in Support of the Afghan People

New Campaign Launched Calling for Support to Afghan People

October 26, 2013

Calgary:  The Canadian non-profit charity organization, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) has announced its membership in a newly launched campaign called the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People (ASAP), which aims to preserve and protect gains made by the Afghan people since 2001.

The coalition consists of a considerable number of well known political and human rights leaders, with signatories such as former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and former Afghan Ambassador to Canada Omar Samad, alongside feminist activists such as Gloria Steinem and Eleanor Smeal, media personalities like Saad Mohseni and Peter Bergen, and Afghan figures such as Dr. Sima Samar, among numerous other human rights and civil society leaders. Signatories and members are united in the idea that standing by the people of Afghanistan at this critical juncture, and at a time when considerable progress made in Afghanistan over the past decade is too often eclipsed by negative media coverage.

“Our shared concern is that the negative environment surrounding Afghanistan could lead to policy that results in complete disengagement by the international community, a result that would abandon the key gains and achievements of the Afghan people and betray the hopes and aspirations of Afghan women, who have made significant progress since 2001 and are actively fighting for their rights and dreams,” says Shafi Sharifi, ASAP’s Communications Director.

In particular, there has been laudable progress made in changing the status of women, with the return of women to public life, the work place and into politics. Millions of girls are enrolled in schools, and thousands of women have joined higher education institutions. There have been dramatic improvements in many human development indicators, including a sharp decrease in maternal mortality and infant and child mortality. “ASAP is an important effort to our organization because foremost among the gains made in Afghanistan since 2001 are improvements in the status of women — gains that need to be defended, protected, and strengthened,” says CW4WAfghan’s president Madeliene Tarasick.

ASAP will work to keep focus on Afghanistan’s upcoming elections, ensure appropriate international civilian assistance to Afghanistan continues post 2014, and will aim to highlight the achievements and gains of the Afghan people, especially the women.

Media Contact:

Janice Eisenhauer, Executive Director Email: info@cw4wafghan.ca Tel: (403) 244-5625

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National Office: P.O. Box 86016 Marda Loop, Calgary, AB Canada T2T 6B7 Tel: 403.244.5625; Email: Info@CW4WAfghan.ca; Web: CW4WAfghan.ca

CW4WAfghan Network: Atlantic, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Kingston, Oakville/CSAW, Okanagan/LW4LW, Manitoba, Ottawa, Peterborough, Saskatchewan, Vancouver, VictoriaFollow the Campaign

Statement of Principles and List of Signatories: www.afghanalliance.org Facebook: facebook.com/allianceinsupportoftheafghanpeople Twitter: @AfghanAlliance

Recent Media Coverage

Holding the Course in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/10/21/holding_the_course_in_afghanistan

Afghan Civil Society Group Aims To Protect Country’s Gains, Radio Free Europe http://www.rferl.org/content/afghanistan-civil-society-asap/25144144.html

Don’t Abandon the Women of Afghanistan, CNN http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/23/opinion/dobriansky-verveer-afghanistan-women/

About CW4WAfghan

CW4WAfghan is a member-based, not-for-profit organization founded in 1996 with 13 volunteer chapters across Canada. Their goals are to advance educational opportunities for Afghan women and their families and to educate Canadians about Afghan human rights. Donor-funded projects are implemented and managed in partnership with Afghan civil society organizations, and fall within our two field program areas: Community Libraries & Literacy Program; and Investments in Public Education. For more information, visit www.cw4wafghan.ca

Facebook: facebook.com/CW4WAfghan Twitter: @CW4WAfghan