Alliance for International Women's Rights
The Alliance for International Women's Rights (AIWR) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of supporting women leaders and future women leaders in developing countries, with a current focus on Afghanistan. We do this by creating connections between Afghan women and skilled professionals in developed countries through our long-distance Empowerment Programs.
AIWR's Empowerment Programs take advantage of free Internet-based communication technology to help open the world to women in developing countries through long-distance volunteers. The volunteers use Skype and e-mail to meet with Afghan women and girls to provide individual education and mentoring. The exchanges that occur through this process build skills and confidence that help Afghan women pursue higher education, obtain employment, enhance their professional skills and become leaders in their communities. The exchanges also help to bridge two worlds and improve understanding between what are often very different cultures. AIWR currently has two Empowerment Programs, our long-distance English Program and Mentor Program.
The purpose of the English Program is to increase the English capacity of Afghan women leaders and future women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one English classes. By improving their English skills, Afghan women and girls are able to pursue higher education, obtain employment and more easily reach out to the international community for information, advice and funding, as well as to share their experiences with the world.
The English Program matches Afghan women and girls with experienced English teachers from the U.S. and other Western, English-speaking countries. Each student and teacher pair meet on-line twice a week, via Skype™, for free, live English classes. In addition to providing individualized English lessons to Afghan women and girls, the classes provide both the students and teachers with a unique opportunity to directly meet and learn about each others’ cultures. This unique cultural exchange helps to build better understanding and stronger relationships between the Western world and Afghanistan, one person at a time.
The Mentor Program helps build the capacity of Afghan women leaders by offering live, long-distance, one-on-one mentoring relationships with American women mentors. The Mentor Program selects qualified American women professionals to provide long-distance mentoring to Afghan women and girls in the subject matter of the mentor’s expertise. The mentor and mentee meet weekly via Skype.
One example of our Mentor Program includes a team of Seattle women attorneys who have been mentoring Afghan women human rights attorneys via Skype. The weekly mentoring sessions focus on English legal and political terminology relevant to the Afghan attorneys’ work, including discussing the legal and political terminology in the English translation of the Afghan Constitution and in international human rights treaties to which Afghanistan is a party.