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Tell the Biden administration and the World Bank to release funds to pay Afghan teachers & health workers

Afghan women have put out an urgent call regarding the non-payment of salaries to Afghan women teachers and healthcare workers. Add your name to the petition calling on the Biden Administration, the World Bank, and key members of Congress to unfreeze the Afghan funds to pay the salaries of Afghan teachers and healthcare workers. 

Dear President Biden, the World Bank, and key members of Congress (see below for the specific members of Congress), 

According to women in Afghanistan, the Taliban is allowing girls to attend primary school (grades 1-6). They have still not opened grades 7-12 to girls but have pledged to do so and we must hold them to that. However, there is a major hurdle: the non-payment of salaries to teachers. There are currently more than 120,000 female teachers in public schools across the country, and about half of them are the sole source of income for their families. It is very difficult, even impossible, to ask these teachers to continue teaching without pay. 

Please release the Afghan funds to pay the salaries of Afghan teachers.

The same crisis is facing Afghan women healthcare workers. There are over 13,000 female healthcare workers in Afghanistan, including doctors, midwives, nurses, vaccinators, and other female staff. Most of them were being paid through the World Bank via the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), but since June, the funding has stopped. Meanwhile, the health system is on the brink of collapse. There has been a surge in cases of measles and diarrhea; a resurgence of polio is a major risk; almost half the children are malnourished; nearly 1 in 4 COVID hospitals have shuttered and 2 million doses of COVID19 vaccines remain unused for lack of personnel to administer them.

Please unfreeze Afghan funds to pay Afghan women healthcare workers and teachers. This money could come from the World Bank Afghan Trust Fund or the $9.4 billion of Afghan funds frozen in U.S. banks.

Sincerely, 

Initial signers: 

Adela Azizi Women's scholar, Herat, Afghanistan
Alice Slater World Beyond War, board member
Alice Walker Author
Andrea Miller Executive Director, Center for Common Ground
Anisa Head master, Karim high school, Pangsher, Afghanistan
Ann Wright Retired US Army colonel and State Department official
Beth Miller Senior Government Affairs Manager, Jewish Voice for Peace Action
Charles F. Pritz, Esq President, Human Rights Advocates International (HRAI)
Cheryl Benard President, Metis Analytics; former Senior Analyst, Rand Corp.
Estee Chandler Host, Middle East in Focus
Halima Nasiri Supreme court judge, Kabul
Hanieh Jodat Barnes President, Muslim Delegates and Allies
Jamila Afghani President, Women’s Intl League for Peace and Freedom, Afghan branch
Jamila Safi President, Female Teachers Association, Afghanistan
Jodie Evans CODEPINK Co-Founder
July Kawamoto Author, psychotherapist
Khatma Kakar Youth women activist, Nangrhar
Latifa Hashmi Principal, Kabul Girls High School
Lona Kargar Women rights activist, Kandahar
Marjorie Cohn Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Martha Leslie Allen Director, Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press
Martha L Schmidt, J.D. Co-chair, Human Rights Framework Project, National Lawyers Guild
Medea Benjamin Author and CODEPINK Co-Founder
Nasreen Barakzai Principal, Zarghona girls high school, Kandahar
Peggy Gish Christian Peacemakers
Phyllis Bennis Author/analyst, Institute for Policy Studies
Qamar Niazi Head of WAO organization
Rev. Dr. Chloe Beyer Board member, Afghans4Tomorrow
Roya Hamid Teacher, Rabia high school in Kabul
Ruth W. Messinger Social Justice Consultant
Shekiba Amer Teacher, Malali high school in Kabul
Sister Carol Boshert Gospel Justice Group
Sister Carol Gilbert Dominican Sisters
Sunita Viswanath Hindus for Human Rights
Susan Scott Human right attorney
Susan Smith Muslim Peace Fellowship
Toorpakai Momand former Director General of Female Education, Afghanistan
Wahid Omar Board member, Afghans4Tomorrow
Zakia Mahmoodi Shia Women Ulema, Afghanistan
Zarghoona Baloch Deputy of Baloch Association, Kandahar

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