The Afghanistan Women’s Think Tank (AFWT) was initially founded in March 2016 by a group of democracy advocates in Afghanistan. The group first started its activity by advocating for the meaningful participation of women in political processes in Afghanistan. In the parliamentary election of 2016 and the subsequent presidential election of 2019, AFWT has worked extensively across Afghanistan to mobilize young Afghan women to take an active part in elections both as voters and candidates. Under the initiative of “Afghan Women for Election,” AFWT went to the most underserved provinces of Afghanistan to empower, educate, mobilize, and equip women to take part in elections. As a result, the group could support ten young female community leaders to nominate themselves in the parliamentary election of 2018. In recognition of their work, AFWT founding director Maryam Rayed received the Young Leader of the Year by the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), the largest civil society umbrella organization working for peace in Afghanistan.

AFWT has grown considerably since its founding as a youth-led organization and has a strong base in different regions of Afghanistan. Currently, its regional offices are in Kapisa, Takhar, Badakhshan, Nangarhar Jawzjan, and Ghor provinces, while headquartered in the capital Kabul.

We focus our activities mainly on implementing the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, improving political participation, and the economic empowerment of women in Afghanistan. We are also active in advocating against gender-based violence (GBV) and equal rights for education through research and action.


As a leading national think tank, Afghanistan Women Think Tank strives to build evidence, foster dialogue, and actively advocate to shape policies that grow women’s power and influence, close inequality gaps, revive and root democracy in Afghanistan.


Violence-free, non­discriminatory Afghanistan fosters peaceful coexistence, equality, collective ownership, and the full participation of women in decision-making. We are working for a democratic, developed, and peaceful Afghanistan governed by women who gain power through democratic processes.


To prioritize and institutionalize democracy and women leadership in Afghanistan through transformative, constructive, and innovative approaches.


To enable, enhance and promote democracy in Afghanistan by enabling women to participate in all political and social processes, from elections to public service, from parliament to classrooms, and from newsrooms to Masjids.


Afghanistan Women’s Think Tank has broad strategic objectives that define the parameters for its operations, including:

  • Fostering research, critical thinking, and innovative solutions on issues related to women and girls in Afghanistan.
  • Provide a platform for young women and girls across Afghanistan to exchange, share, and harmonize strategies for women’s leadership and build coalitions to promote their rights, mobilize and lead peace and security agenda in the country.
  • To function as a hub for women’s regional alliances in South Asia.
  • To lobby at the international level for women’s status in Afghanistan.

AFWT Priority Areas:

  • Afghanistan Sustainable Development Goals (A- SDGs).
  • Afghanistan Women Peace and Security Agenda
  • Youth Peace and Security Agenda

Afghan Women for Election:

The leaders we elect make decisions that affect our daily lives. Elections are our chance to stand up for what matters most to us and to have an impact on the issues that affect us, our communities, our families and our future. For this very reason, Afghan Women for Election, was initiated on March 2016 as a grassroot project to empower women in rural Afghanistan take active part in elections.  We host dozens of candidate debates and forums in six major provinces in the country and provided straightforward information about why women should vote for women and how they can support the right candidates.