Afghan Women’s Skills Development Center (AWSDC)

Afghanistan

Three decades of war and the constant threat of targeted killings and other violence mean that women, especially women human rights defenders, and their families are at serious risk across Afghanistan. AWSDC, a women-led organization founded in 1999, helps ensure that Afghan women can access their basic human rights and participate in the country’s peacebuilding processes. AWSDC provides safe refuge, legal services, counselling, and advocacy to women across the country—all in service of its vision of a society where women are no longer subjected to violence, can live in dignity, and are able to participate in all aspects of life. Despite numerous challenges, AWSDC has even opened Kabul’s first-ever women-run restaurant, entirely staffed by the residents of their shelters. The restaurant provides a harassment-free space and an opportunity to build skills and economic independence.

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