Woman wearing blue hijab in Afghanistan 2021


  • 41%

    41% of children under 5 years old are stunted due to chronic undernutrition.

  • 87%

    87% of women in Afghanistan have experienced domestic abuse.

  • 60%

    60% of girls are not in school in Afghanistan.

Source: https://www.unicef.org/afghanistan and https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/PW98_Women's-Access-to-Justice-in-Afghanistan.pdf

Women's rights in Afghanistan

Although the lives of Afghan women and girls have improved since 2001, women and girls still face human rights abuses.

Sexual harassment, domestic violence, and early forced marriage are still common in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas. 


Freshta’s family was one of the hundreds of families that live in caves dig up in the mountains near the city of Bamyan. She still have a big scar on her left leg caused by an infection related to the unhealthy living conditions, now it’s healing. Photo: Lorenzo Tugnoli/ActionAid

Four-year-old Freshta (left) and her family live in a cave in the mountains in Afghanistan.

Photo: Lorenzo Tugnoli/ActionAid

What we do in Afghanistan

We’ve helped 100,000 people in Afghanistan across five provinces: Bamyan, Balkh, Hirat, Jawjan and Kabul.

Support women’s rights

In Afghanistan, ActionAid has set up discussion groups where local facilitators help other women 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.

Protect and educate children

Through local partners, we protect children across several provinces of Afghanistan, focusing on education and play time 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.

Providing essentials during the Covid-19 crisis

Azada lives in a remote part of Afghanistan with no access to electricity, televisions, radio or social media.

With concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, she had no way to access any factual information about the disease and how to prevent its spread.

ActionAid along with its partners was able to distribute timely information about coronavirus and distribute essential hygiene kits with soap and masks. 

Now, I know to wash my hands regularly, use mask, keeping social distance and avoiding going to the busy places. I conveyed this message to my family members and friends to protect them from...coronavirus. I would like to thank ActionAid for supporting us in this difficult time”.

Learn more about the coronavirus pandemic

Helping fight against violence

32-year-old Najiba is married with four children and is the director of a women’s shelter in Afghanistan, 

With the help of ActionAid training, Najiba became one of the first female paralegals in Afghanistan to help fight violence against women and girls.

In Afghanistan, women aren’t viewed as human beings or equal partners...women were not aware of their rights before, now they tend to report violence more often.”

Learn more about our work supporting women's rights

Economically empowering women

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, Zahra helps women 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 the business. The classes have also helped change her life. 

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.”

Learn more about women's economic empowerment

Helping children go to school

When she was just three years old, Freshta’s family fled the Taliban and were forced to live in a cave up in the mountains near Bamyan city, west of Kabul, through the bitter winter. They barely had enough to eat.

Now, thanks to child sponsorship, we’ve helped her family find a new home and Freshta is looking forward to going to school.

Learn more about child sponsorship


  • 1https://www.ifad.org/en/
Top image: Ruqia is describing the details on Covid-19 to Azada Matin Khairy/ActionAid. Others: Lorenzo Tugnoli/ActionAid

Page updated 10 May 2024