From poverty to tribal conflict, oppressive patriarchal structures to widespread sexual violence, the needs of women in Afghanistan are numerous and acute. Since 1999, Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA) has sought to reverse gender-based discrimination and ensure the full participation of women and youth in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Given the daunting scope of its mission, HAWCA has engaged in a diverse array of projects, including humanitarian assistance, literacy and business education, peace-building seminars, and the establishment of safe havens for girls escaping sex trafficking. In 2014, HAWCA played a prominent role in lobbying against a law that would effectively silence victims of domestic abuse and forced marriage.
A 2015 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported HAWCA's program to help Afghan women who are victims of gender-based violence rebuild their lives. The group improved its library to allow residents to read and study. It also started cooking classes and catering activity to enable survivors to earn a living and reintegrate into society after leaving the protection center.
A 2014 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network provided support for capacity building and general operations. Donor Direct Action served as the fiscal sponsor for this grant.