The situation in Afghanistan is extremely dangerous for women, and the ones who speak up for their rights are in the greatest danger of all.
In fact, at the very moment I write this, 39-year-old Ranna Tareen, director of Kandahar's Women's Affairs Department and a well-known women's rights activist, has been forced to flee Kandahar after receiving repeated death threats.
"The Taliban are no longer warning me by phone or letter; instead they come to my office and intimidate me in person. They operate with impunity and the government is unable to stop them, " Ranna explains. "Kandahar has lost a lot of its brave women over the past few years. I see my death too - and I see no one cares about it."
But I know that you care deeply about women in Afghanistan who are standing up for their human rights. A donation now of $25, $50, or $75 to support MADRE's Afghan Women's Survival Fund will do exactly that.
The Afghan Women's Survival Fund supports an underground rescue network providing shelter and secret transport to women who have been targeted because they dare to speak out for their human rights.
In Afghanistan, escaping domestic abuse is almost impossible. Most women have no money of their own and are forbidden from leaving home without a male relative. Running away is itself a crime punishable by death.
Passports can only be issued with a husband or father's approval. The same applies to divorce. That's why the suicide rate among Afghan women, many in their early twenties, is skyrocketing. Women are so overwhelmed by the horror of their daily lives that they would rather set themselves on fire rather than live another day.
But through The Afghan Women's Survival Fund, you provide an escape route and a way for women to rebuild their lives. Your dollars help cover the costs of emergency medical care, legal fees, counseling, food, shelter, local and international transportation, cell phones to link partners in the rescue network, and clothing and other personal effects for women who literally flee with only the clothes on their backs.
There are no discounts on saving a person's life. Bringing a woman and her children to safety through covert means can be expensive, averaging $7, 500 a family.
That's why I urge you to give as much as you can -- our partners are in contact with dozens of women who are currently in hiding, waiting for our assistance to escape.
Please act today -- be as generous as you can. Your tax-deductible gift today will make a real difference in so many women's lives. Thank you.
In peace and justice,
P.S. -- Read about the lifeline that Naseema and her children were offered through the Afghan Women's Survival Fund.
P.P.S. -- Naseema is one of hundreds of women who live every hour in fear of being maimed, tortured or killed. I have made these stories available on the website because I want you to understand the magnitude of this crisis on a personal level. Together we can help them. Your gifts will get these women to safety. Please be generous. Thank you.