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Women for Afghan Women

Award Recipients - 2003

Sunita Mehta, Masada Sultran, Esther Hyneman & Manizha Naderi, Co-Leaders

Manizha Naderi, Executive Director

Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is an organization of Afghan and non-Afghan women from the New York area committed to the human rights of Afghan women.  “WAW promotes the agency of local Afghan women through the creation of safe forums where Afghan women can network, develop programs to meet their specific needs and participate in human rights advocacy in the international sphere.”  WAW was founded in April 2001 to organize Afghan women in New York City and to advocate against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

When New York City was attacked on September 11th, WAW co-sponsored the first Muslim peace rallies and teach-ins in the City.  By November 2001, WAW held the first conference organized by Afghan women breaking stereotypes of Afghan women “as passive, silent victims cowering under their burquas.”  Among WAW’s primary goals are to work with Afghan women in New York City toward human rights activism rooted in the community and for women’s rights locally and globally.  The focus is to bring resources to the neediest women and to encourage and support Afghan women as leaders.  A community program in Queens seeks to better acquaint Afghan women with their legal rights and empower them to take a stand on women’s rights in their own community, in Afghanistan and around the world.


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