On top of this, years of war and conflict have left millions of people struggling to survive. One third of the population lives below the poverty line. Violence and the fear of violence is rife.
50Over 50% of children under 5 years old are chronically malnourished.
8787% of women in Afghanistan have experienced domestic abuse.
909 out of 10 girls over the age of 15 can’t read or write.
Although the lives of Afghan women and girls have improved since the fall of the Taliban, women and girls still face sexual harassment and rape, physical violence, and early forced marriage in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas. They even face harsh restrictions and violence if they try to work outside the home.
What we do in Afghanistan
We’ve helped to set up discussion groups where local facilitators help other women to understand and practise their rights. We train the facilitators to teach women in their communities vital skills like reading and writing — helping them to take control of their own lives.
Through local partners, we protect children across all five provinces of Afghanistan, focusing on education and play for children affected by conflict — including ex-child soldiers traumatised by war.
We work with schools, education departments and community groups to promote the importance of education for children — especially girls, because they’re often the ones who miss out on going to or finishing school. We run special courses to help more girls catch up on their studies, finish secondary school and enrol into higher education.
How we’re changing lives for good in Afghanistan
We’ve helped 100,000 people in Afghanistan across five provinces: Bamyan, Balkh, Hirat, Jawjan and Kabul.
Defending women’s rights with Najiba
“In Afghanistan women aren’t viewed as human beings or equal partners”, says 32-year-old Najiba. She’s married with four children, and is the director of a women’s shelter.
With the help of ActionAid training, Najiba became one of the first female paralegals in Afghanistan to help fight violence against women and girls. “Women were not aware of their rights before, now they tend to report violence more often.”Find out more about our work supporting women and girls
Empowering women with Zahra and Fatima
28-year-old Zahra is a facilitator for a skills training workshop in Bamyan province. Three days a week she teaches women to read and write. The rest of the time she helps them produce handicrafts to sell at the local bazaar to earn an income and transform their lives.
Fatima, aged 45, helps Zaahra to run the group and their growing business. She says: “A big change came into my life. Now I can read and write, when I go to the bazaar I can read the signs and everything is easier.”Donate to support our work on women’s rights