Afghanistan Crisis Response

Mina’s List has been active in Afghanistan since 2014, promoting greater women’s political participation and leadership. In 2021, as the Taliban violently returned to power, it was these women leaders, many of whom worked with international allies to strengthen democracy and secure their rights, who were most at risk of harm and retribution by the Taliban. In the face of this crisis, Mina’s List helped evacuate and resettle over 2,000 people, all Afghan women leaders and their families, through coalition and independent efforts.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of high-risk women leaders fell through the cracks of the U.S. government’s evacuation efforts. Many women activists, political leaders, journalists, and human rights defenders were not prioritized or eligible for immigration assistance. As the crisis unfolded and in the immediate aftermath, Mina’s List advocated to policymakers to address this crisis. As a result of Mina’s List advocacy, in August a group of 46 US Senators urged the Biden administration to take action to protect and support Afghan women leaders who were facing a desperate situation as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. This protection and support is still urgently needed.

What else are we doing?

While no longer in the headlines, the crisis that unfolded in 2021 continues today for the women and girls in Afghanistan. According to the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Taliban has issued 88 official edicts restricting the rights and freedoms of women and girls since taking power. This has established a system of governance based on the oppression of women, a situation that can and should be considered gender apartheid.

As this situation has devolved into the world’s worst women’s rights crisis, Mina’s List has worked to keep the spotlight on Afghan women and girls and the challenges they face.  

We have worked with the media at key moments to ensure Afghan women are not forgotten, continued to call for the prioritization of high-risk women in all Afghan relocation efforts, and led coalition efforts to issue policy recommendations to top decision-makers in the U.S. and internationally.

For women leaders who have managed to leave Afghanistan, with or without our help, Mina’s List is working to ensure that they have the humanitarian, financial, and legal resources they need to support their resettlement.

Please consider making a donation to support our efforts.

Advocacy for the inclusion of Afghan women in the peace process

In the lead up to withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, we worked hard to advance an inclusive peace process and developed policy recommendations for Congress and the US Administration to ensure the protection of women’s rights.

Mina’s List responded to the exclusion of Afghan women from the 2020 negotiations with the Taliban by planning the Afghan Women’s Istanbul Peace Conference, a parallel peace process to the fast-tracked peace talks that were to take place in April 2021. We built a coalition to identify 100 Afghan women delegates from across the Afghanistan to attend the conference and meet with the members of the negotiation teams to present their demands and perspectives for peace.

Ultimately, the event was not held due to the announcement of non-conditional withdrawal of US and NATO troops by September 11, 2021.

Refusing to let Afghan women’s voices go unheard, Mina’s List worked with the Afghan Women’s Network and in-country consortium partners to organize strategic workshops in Kabul in April 2021 for the 100 women delegates who represented at least 25 provinces across the country.

The delegates produced over 60 recommendations for a just and lasting peace in Afghanistan. This document served as a critical tool for both global and US advocacy, including the development of a letter to Secretary Blinken signed by 70 Members of Congress to prioritize women and the women, peace, and security agenda in the Administration’s approach to Afghanistan.

To learn more about Mina’s List’s other work in Afghanistan, see our “Afghanistan Project” page.

Afghanistan Crisis Response

The situation for Afghan women is increasingly dire. It is Afghan women leaders, many of whom worked with international allies to secure their country’s future, who are now most at risk by the Taliban takeover.

Mina’s List will continue its advocacy efforts with the US government and other partners to ensure that Afghan women continue to receive support and protection.