One of the pillars of the Bayat Foundation’s mission is the empowerment of women in Afghanistan, a country where much of the population is still dominated by very traditional attitudes about the role of women in society. The foundation approaches the issue by supporting a variety of causes that seek to build women’s job skills, provide health care, and incubate entrepreneurial ventures.
One of the Bayat Foundation’s inaugural Empowering Women Grants went to the Justice for All Organization (JFAO) in 2010. The organization, founded and staffed by Afghan women, earned the $10,000 award for its work in providing legal counsel to women too poor to afford representation by a lawyer. By the end of 2010, the organization had provided legal advice to nearly 1,400 women, 500 of whom had filed domestic abuse cases.
Since receiving the grant, JFAO has continued its work out of a nondescript trailer office in Kabul’s governmental complex. This legal advice bureau is one of several supported with help from the international human rights organization Global Rights. This partner organization recently gave special recognition to JFAO’s difficult work helping poor women navigate the complicated Afghan legal system in the capital city. In addition, JFAO was spotlighted last year in a report from The Open Society Foundations, which highlighted the ongoing importance of the work JFAO does for the most vulnerable women of Kabul.