Afghan women and girls were deprived of their social and family rights during the devastating civil war and the Taliban Regime. Medica Afghanistan took the initiative soon after the establishment of the government of the Islamic Republic to lend a hand to Afghan women and girls who had survived personal violence and war. Today the advancement of women’s rights and the protection and recovery of women from sexualized and other forms of gender-based violence are at the core of Medica Afghanistan’s work.
Medica Afghanistan empowers Afghan women by directly providing psychosocial services and legal aid. In addition, Medica Afghanistan works on sensitizing men to the key issues of gender-based violence. The organisation offers advanced professional training to lawyers, doctors, social workers and religious leaders on multiple aspects of violence against women. It also works to raise public awareness on women’s rights, and lobbies for local and national policies that aim to end violence against women and girls.
The approach of Medica Afghanistan is unique in important respects:
Medica Afghanistan is a women’s organisation. All of our psychosocial counselors, lawyers, social workers, and advocacy staff are female. This is most important to our target group, women and girls, who are reluctant to speak to male counselors, lawyers or social workers about their problems, especially when it comes to sexual violence.
Medica Afghanistan is specialized in supporting women and girls who are deeply affected by violence; all our programs and activities are focused upon them. All our staff members are aware of the relation between gender and violence, and they have extensive training in working with traumatized women and girls. In addition, they all have profound knowledge and a strong commitment to women’s rights.
Medica Afghanistan takes a holistic approach and provides a range of different services for women and girls, including psychosocial counseling, legal representation, social support, literacy classes, and referrals for health care, economic opportunities, and other appropriate services as needed. In addition we advocate publicly and lobby politically for the enhancement of women’s rights to bring long-term, sustainable change for women and girls within a peaceful Afghanistan.