August 16th, 2021
The Honourable Mr Alex Hawke MP
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs
House of Representatives
Canberra, ACT 2600
To The Honourable Mr Alex Hawke,
I write to you as the President of the Australian Federation of Medical Women (AFMW), deeply concerned regarding the impact on women and girls by the swift take over by Taliban, following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces in July this year.
Soon after Taliban leaders took control of the provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar, orders were issued to local religious leaders to provide them with a list of females aged from 15 to 45years for marriage to Taliban soldiers. If these unions occur, the intention is to inculcate them to ‘authentic Islam,’ which is the kind which subverts freedom and will commit thousands of women to sexual slavery. Furthermore, they will prohibit girls over the age of 12years of age from having an education, will ban women from employment and reinstate laws which prohibit women from leaving their house without a guardian. Women and families living in Afghanistan are living in fear and trying to flee.
Australia has a moral obligation to help these families arrive here in safety and we recommend you take these immediate actions:
- That you assist the Australian nationals who are there and currently under great threat, to return to Australia
- That Australia increase its humanitarian uptake of Afghan refugees which would include women, children and freedom fighters. They should be rapidly provided with visas
- That we increase our humanitarian support to women and child in Afghanistan.
MBBS FRACGP DRANZCOG MHH
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and their culture. We also pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and future generations.
Magdalena is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020), National Coordinator AFMW, MWIA Scientific and Research Subcommittee co-Chair, MWIA Mentoring and Leadership, Special Interest Group, Chair
Magdalena’s deep engagements with the RACGP over many years includes chair of Women in General Practice, is currently on the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, prior to that on RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is a regular media spokesperson on numerous health issues, being interviewed most weeks by mainstream and medical media. Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews.
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner she supervises medical students and undertakes general practice research. Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of Women’s Health Victoria and Chair of their Strategy and Policy subcommittee and the AMA Victoria GP Network Committee.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was recently appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA).