An urgent alert from the US Section of the
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Responding to Help Those in Dire Straits

We have all watched in shock the debacle taking place in Afghanistan, as the Taliban has rapidly moved into all of the major cities and towns there, filling the vacuum left when U.S. forces pulled out. Now we must speak up for our sisters and brothers in Afghanistan. We demand diplomacy – not invasion, occupation and attempts at military domination.

International WILPF has suggested a few ways to mitigate the situation unfolding before our eyes. Other ideas have come from our friends at Code Pink and other sources. We know you’re anxious to help, and below are some concrete steps you can take toward protection for the people of Afghanistan. As our allies at the Women’s UN Report Network say in their statement, "Women’s and girls’ rights must be at the core of the global response to the current crisis."

Twenty years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan on a declared mission of catching those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, the U.S.-backed Afghan government has collapsed. Now that the Taliban is again in control, confusion, panic, and uncertainty reign. We believe that the U.S. has a responsibility to address the conditions it has helped create. The U.S. must both act directly and work with the U.N. to coordinate assistance for those who remain in Afghanistan and those who seek to leave the country. Many are in dire straits.

Call Now for US Responses
As a resident of the U.S., one thing you can do is to phone or write to President Biden and your Congressional delegation, calling on the Biden administration to do the following:
  1. Support UN efforts to create a humanitarian corridor and guarantee safe passage for humanitarian workers to help the displaced population;
  2. Expand qualification categories for Afghan refugees coming to the U.S. and reduce the paperwork required to qualify;
  3. Cease all bombings and CIA paramilitary involvement; and
  4. Once U.S. evacuations are complete, remove U.S. forces, except for a residual protective force at the U.S. Embassy for possible recognition of a new government.
  5. Support these actions with the same dedication of billions of dollars that our Democratic and Republican Presidents have spent to wage war.
  6. Phone calls are the most effective contacts by far. However, you can also tell President Biden to support humanitarian aid and safe, accessible refuge for Afghans by signing this Action Network petition here.

Access Critical Analyses 
Code Pink had an extremely informative emergency webinar, Afghanistan: Who's to Blame and What Next? View it here. It features distinguished and expert panelists, including Middle-East specialist Phyllis Bennis and Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel. You will find much useful information on that video.

Additionally, Phyllis Bennis has a new article published in The Nation online: "Washington’s War in Afghanistan Is Over. What Happens Now?" 
People in Haiti also need your help!

The people of Haiti have a proud and determined history, dating back to the first successful slave revolt in the Western Hemisphere in 1804. But like Afghanistan, Haiti has also experienced the effects of repeated armed interventions by the U.S., contributing to Haiti’s current economic difficulties. And now the August 14 earthquake has left thousands dead and many more injured. 

You can help the earthquake survivors in Haiti by donating to organizations that are locally rooted and trusted for their integrity. The Movement for Black Lives recommends an extensive list of Haitian-led organizations for your donations.

The United Nations has a somber record in Haiti. However, you can get some of the latest news on UN actions in both Haiti and Afghanistan at this U.N. news site.

Darien De Lu, President, WILPF US
International WILPF Suggestions in Afghanistan 

1. Lobby your government representatives to:
  • Advocate for an immediate nationwide ceasefire, demand that the airport and border crossings remain open so those who wish to leave the country can do so, and enable full humanitarian access. 
  • Ensure safe passage out of Afghanistan of all women human rights defenders, their dependents and allies. 
  • Welcome Afghan refugees and asylum seekers and do not deport anyone back to Afghanistan.

2. Since the U.S. is on the UN Security Council, please call on the State Department to:
  • Provide leadership and coherence, and use the tools of diplomacy available to the highest body on peace and security, as well as opening of humanitarian corridors.
  • Urge the UN Human Rights Council to hold a special session on Afghanistan with the aim of establishing a UN investigative mechanism into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Afghanistan. 

3. Raise critical analysis in the media and elsewhere of the failures of governments and the international community, including the military invasion, arms sales, and abuses of human rights of Afghans.

4. Send a message of solidarity to your sisters in WILPF Afghanistan to membership@wilpf.org. WILPF International will compile and share information via a safe channel. 

Also, do you discuss WILPF Afghanistan or other Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in your social media? If so, WILPF International urges you to, please, make sure that your social media accounts do not draw attention to members of WILPF Afghanistan or other WHRDs there. Set your Facebook and LinkedIn settings to private and delete any pictures or tags that reveal WHRDs’ identities. We know the Taliban have historically used social media accounts to identify WHRDs.
Financial Help for Afghans
California Representative Ro Khanna noted, "If you're looking for a way to help, I encourage you to donate to Women for Afghan Women or the International Refugee Assistance Project."

Similarly, WILPF International suggests making a donation to WILPF International for members in Afghanistan – or to other organizations. For example, WILPF International recommends a GoFundMe initiative supporting safe houses to protect women being targeted in Afghanistan – organized by the Women’s Regional Network and requested by the Afghan Women's Network, Safety and Risk Mitigation Organization, and Afghan Women's Skills Development Center.

We urge you to do any or all of the suggested actions as quickly as possible.

Barbara Taft, Co-Chair, Middle East Peace and Justice Action Committee
Your support helps us reach farther and be more effective. Consider a donation to WILPF today to demonstrate your solidarity with our work.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom/US Section
Friends House | PO Box 13075 | Des Moines, IA 50310 | 617-266-0999 | www.wilpfus.org


Stay Connected