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AFMW President’s letter to the Honourable Mr Alex Hawke re Afghanistan

Letter to Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs

August 16th, 2021
The Honourable Mr Alex Hawke MP
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs
House of Representatives
Parliament House
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:

  1. That you assist the Australian nationals who are there and currently under great threat, to return to Australia
  2. That Australia increase its humanitarian uptake of Afghan refugees which would include women, children and freedom fighters. They should be rapidly provided with visas
  3. That we increase our humanitarian support to women and child in Afghanistan.

Yours sincerely,
Magdalena Simonis

[email protected]

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land and their culture. We also pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and future generations.


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