Georgetown Launches Effort to Support High-Risk Women from Afghanistan


First U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Makes Plea for Afghan Women

WASHINGTON, D.C.—August 22, 2021—Today, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) is launching an urgent effort to support the immediate needs of high-risk women from Afghanistan whose lives are in imminent danger, in partnership with Vital Voices.

GIWPS is part of a collective effort to aid Afghan women – activists, politicians, journalists, civil society leaders and peacebuilders — whose leadership and work with the United States has put them at the top of Taliban kill lists. To donate and find more ways to support, go to

Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Peace and the United States’ first Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, said, “This is a perilous time for Afghan women and girls as the Taliban threaten to destroy all that they’ve worked for in their country and their very existence. We have a narrow window to save their lives and we need your help to do it.” 

This echoes calls by 46 Senators to establish a “humanitarian parole category” to account for at-risk women leaders, who are not typically counted in the long list of those eligible for Special Immigrant Visas, and ensure they are not left in limbo. The women and their families who are evacuated will also need resettlement support for food, temporary lodging and other necessities.


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Sarah Rutherford

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Protect Afghan Women is a project of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security, which seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism. We engage in rigorous research, host global convenings, advance strategic partnerships, and nurture the next generation of leaders. Housed within the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, the Institute is headed by the former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer.