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Our Projects

Women for Democracy

At Democracy PEN, we firmly believe that inclusion and equity are the centerpieces of sound and functioning democracies. And to achieve them, women’s participation in all aspects of social and political processes is a must. Thus, Democracy PEN works to support women to overcome the barriers to their equal and active political participation— be it at the individual, institutional or socio-cultural levels.

An Afghan women teacher in class at the one and only official girls school in Mazar-I Sharif in 1996. Photo by: Klaus Reisinger

Youth, Peace, and Democracy

Today’s youth need authentic opportunities to participate in political processes and contribute to practical solutions that advance development. When given a chance to organize, voice their opinions and play a meaningful role in political decision-making, young people consistently demonstrate their willingness and ability to foster positive, lasting change. They also become more likely to demand and defend democracy and gain a greater sense of belonging.

Democratic Media and Press

Free, objective, skilled media is essential to any democratic society. On the one hand, it provides the information the polity requires to make responsible, informed decisions. On the other, it performs a “checking function,” ensuring that elected officials uphold their oaths of office and campaign promises and carry out the electorate’s wishes. PEN Democracy, along with its sister organization, The Khama Press News Agency, is determined to transfer the media from direction or control by government or private interest to a situation of editorial freedom exercised in the public interest. Another goal of this project is to highlight the work and celebrate the achievements of democracy advocates in the south and central Asia+ Afghanistan.