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Afghan Women’s Organization and Canadian Council of Muslim Women urge the Canadian Government to Implement the Recommendations of the Special Committee on Afghanistan

Afghan Women’s Organization and Canadian Council of Muslim Women urge the Canadian Government to Implement the Recommendations of the Special Committee on Afghanistan

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TORONTO, August 15, 2022

Today marks a year since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has released a report covering the period from August 15, 2021 to June 15, 2022, a period where the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. The report highlights that Afghans have been severely hindered in the exercise of their human rights as a result of the unprecedented economic, financial, and humanitarian crisis, which has left millions of Afghans in need of humanitarian aid. Women and girls have in particular been subjected to severe restrictions resulting in their exclusion from most aspects of everyday and public life.

The Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant Services (AWO) and the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) thank the members of the Special Committee on Afghanistan for their thoughtful consideration of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and for the report they prepared: Honouring Canada’s Legacy in Afghanistan: Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis and Helping People Reach Safety, which was released in June 2022.

Members of the Special Committee on Afghanistan heard from a wide range of stakeholders during the Parliamentary review and made sound recommendations. All of the recommendations are highly commended by the AWO and the CCMW. However, the current dire humanitarian situation and deteriorating conditions for Afghan women and girls make the following recommendations particularly pertinent:

  • Allocate Canada’s fair share of funding toward the United Nations humanitarian appeals for Afghanistan, ensuring that its humanitarian assistance is reaching the most vulnerable populations in Afghanistan.
  • Continue to monitor the humanitarian and human rights environment in Afghanistan, and that it take action with its partners in response to any credible reports that humanitarian assistance is being impeded or that the de facto authorities are violating the rights of Afghans, including women and minorities in the delivery of aid.
  • Work with its allies and the international financial institutions in support of Afghanistan’s economic stability through an approach that is focused on helping the Afghan people.
  • Act immediately to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 2615; ensure that registered Canadian organizations are able to deliver humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan without fear of prosecution for violating Canada’s anti-terrorism laws; and urgently take any legislative steps necessary to ensure those provisions do not unduly restrict legitimate humanitarian action that complies with international humanitarian principles and law.
  • Continue to insist that girls and women throughout Afghanistan have permanent access to all levels of education.
  • Insist on being able to communicate with Afghan civil society organizations and women leaders in Afghanistan, without them facing any risk of reprisals.
  • Detail how it is monitoring, supporting, and advocating for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

It is imperative that these recommendations are immediately implemented by the Government of Canada.

About the Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant Services

For over 30 years, the Afghan Women’s Organization Refugee and Immigrant Services (AWO) has provided services to newcomers in Canada, with a special focus on women, families, refugees, and people who have experienced war and persecution. The AWO also advocates for Afghan women’s and girls’ human rights and maintains close connections with Afghanistan and its people.

About the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW)

The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) is a charitable organization dedicated to the equality, equity and empowerment of all Muslim women in Canada. Our mission is to affirm the identities of Canadian Muslim women and promote their lived experiences through community engagement, public stakeholder engagement and amplified awareness of the social injustices that Muslim women and girls endure in Canada, while advocating for their diverse needs and equipping local CCMW chapters with necessary resources to maximize national efforts and mobilize local communities to join the movement.

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The story of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) begins in 1982 when a group of dynamic and devoted Muslim women from across the country congregated in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Led by the late founder of CCMW, Dr. Lila Fahlman, these women sought to mobilize their passion for social justice and faith in order to enrich their communities and work towards the common good of Canadian society.

This inaugural meeting led to the establishment of CCMW, a not-for-profit organization that works to provide equity, equality and empowerment for all Canadian Muslim women. For the past 30 years, its proud and accomplished roster of members have achieved and continue to achieve great milestones for Muslim women and Canada’s multicultural landscape. As a highly diverse organization, CCMW is firmly committed to the overarching vision of improving the status of Muslim women to remain true to their Islamic heritage and Canadian identity.