The Afghan Women's Organisation Victoria (AWOV), are a non-profit organisation established in 2009 by a group of passionate women eager to bridge the systemic and cultural gaps faced by Afghan women and children in Australia. Since 2009, we have provided Afghan women and girls with the culturally and linguistically appropriate support, services, programs and toolkits to build their collective and individual capacity and strengths. We have become one of the leading community organisations in Australia and internationally for our committed and successful work in female empowerment, community engagement, services and aid projects.
We have established a Charity Foundation and Literacy Centre in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan in 2014. This centre is run by women, for women and provides literacy classes, maternity and child health information, sewing classes and microfinance projects for widowed women and girls.
Founder and CEO of the Afghan Women's Organisation Victoria
Gulghotai (Gula) Bezhan founded AWOV in 2009. Gula established AWOV with a desire to bridge the social, economic and political gaps faced by Afghan women and girls. She has immense passion in working to empower women and girls both in Victoria and Afghanistan. Her 20+ year experience in community work, international aid and her profile as a community leader has enabled her to take a nuanced and effective approach in servicing and supporting the wider community. Gula continues to utilise her platform to advocate, campaign and support Afghan women and girls internationally. Her work has been recognised by UN Women, UNHCR, the Australian Federal and State Governments, Amnesty International, H.E.R Summit and various other international organisations and bodies. Gula extended the efforts of AWOV to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2014 to help empower women and widows through educational and vocational programs at the Afghan Women's Organisation Literacy and Charity Centre.
We believe all women and girls can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
We are a source of experience and empowerment for equality and women’s rights both within the Afghan community and on a larger scale. Representing the diversity of the Afghan women’s movement globally, AWOV's mission is to foster and build a society and environment where women's rights are recognised, for Afghan women to have access to services, information, social justice and empowerment. We build consensus and mobilise our members’ collective experience to work on major issues affecting women, to realise women’s rights and facilitate comprehensive and pragmatic programs, projects and events. We represent an inclusive, confident, and unified voice for Afghan women and girls, and bring their voices into an arena that harbours social inclusiveness.
Our vision transformational social, political, and economic empowerment for Afghan women and girls based on, equality, well-being, social justice, and education. We envision a culture in which women enjoy equal rights and participation in reimagined power and decision-making structures. We envision a society in which women’s contribution to all aspects of life is recognised, rewarded and celebrated – in leadership, in care and in production; all women have freedom of choice, self-confidence and education.