Afghanistan: The Afghan Women's Survival Fund

The Problem

Afghan Women's Survival Fund - c. MADREWomen in Afghanistan are being targeted, attacked, and murdered for demanding their human rights. Women police officers, journalists, teachers, parliamentarians, local government workers, and many others have been assassinated by ultra-conservatives for daring to speak out for women’s rights.

Most women have no money of their own and are forbidden from leaving home without a male relative. Escaping abuse is therefore very difficult: running away is itself a crime punishable by death.

In response to the "surge" of US/NATO forces, the Taliban and other extremists are working to tighten their hold over the population. Assaults against women are a proven tactic in their bid to control communities.


The Solution

MADRE created the Afghan Women’s Survival Fund to enable women who are threatened with violence to escape to safety.

The Fund supports an underground rescue network of women committed to providing shelter and secret transport to women who have been targeted because they dare to speak out for human rights.

The Fund provides cell phones to link partners in the rescue network, and covers costs of emergency medical care, food, shelter, local and international transportation, and clothing and other personal effects for women who are forced to escape quickly.

Through the Fund, MADRE is able to activate a global network of women’s human rights defenders to launch advocacy campaigns on behalf of women who are publicly threatened by the Taliban or other ultra-conservatives.  

Unlike other projects, MADRE’s partners in this initiative must remain anonymous or risk their own lives. 

The Results

  • Women’s lives are saved.
  • The Afghan women’s movement is strengthened, and Afghan women are empowered by the knowledge that they have somewhere to turn when threatened.
  • The critical work of Afghan women activists is able to continue underground or from exile as the Fund enables women to relocate and resume their work for justice.

Watch a video about the Fund » Show

What You Can Do:


c. Mariam Alimi (UNAMA)

Your donation to MADRE's Afghan Women's Survival Fund will provide  emergency medical care, food, clothing, secure housing and transportation across the border when necessary.

Become a Founder

Woman from weaving cooperative - c. Barat Ali Batoor (UNAMA)

The Founders Circle is a group of people committed to raising support for the Fund and helping to ensure that more people hear about this urgently-needed, concrete way to respond to an atrocity that we cannot ignore.

Buy Rethink Afghanistan

Rethink Afghanistan

Rethink Afghanistan is an unflinching look at the weak premises for the war and at the ongoing impact for Afghan women and families. Watch the whole documentary and share the film with your friends.