In 1995, seven Afghan women who participated in the  of the fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing-China, along with other Afghan women decided to establish the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN). A year later, in 1996, this informal initiative was developed into a formal structure in 1996.

AWN was operating out of Peshawar-Pakistan since its inception back in 1995 until they were shifted to Kabul in 2002.

AWN main office is based in Kabul with regional offices in Jalalabad and Herat. It has a liaison office in Peshawar-Pakistan that provides logistical support and outreach to the Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan.

Today, AWN is considered the only umbrella entity for women/gender-based organizations in Afghanistan. At present, AWN has 72 organizations and 3000 individuals as its members both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

AWN is a non-partisan Network of women and women’s NGOs working to empower Afghan women and ensure their equal participation in Afghan society. The members of the Network also recognize the value and role of children as the future of Afghanistan and, as such, regard the empowerment and protection of children as fundamental to their work. The Network seeks to enhance the effectiveness of its members by fostering partnership and collaboration between members, undertaking advocacy and lobbying, and building their individual capacities.

As is known, that a law is undergoing a number of specific steps to pass, ratify and then to be published. But for the Shia personnel law, the case was to pass the feedback/review step and directly sent to the parliament.

One and a half year before when the draft committee on family law, included were university teachers, child and family court heads, civil society organizations with support of the Ministry of women affairs and ministry of justice, Independent Human Rights Commission, was informed about the Shia personnel Law that it has been included in the parliament agenda. Therefore the committee stopped their work on the family law and started for the assessment and observation of the Shia personnel draft law. This committee gone through all the legislation of the Islamic countries’ on Shia personnel status law and prepared a recommendation draft.

Afterwards the recommendation draft was submitted to the minister of Justice and other organizations but when it was noticed that no proper interest and pace is given to the draft recommendation, the team decided to meet Mr Karzai. They asked him not to ratify the law as some changes are recommendable in it. President asked the minister of justice, who was present there; about the law and he responded that he will give it a second look as it was a one year old draft. The draft committee kept an eye on the proceedings of the steps taken on Shia personnel Law and monitored the actions in this regard very minutely.

The idea developed to include the Shia members of the parliament in the process, Dr Samar talked with Mr. Mohaqiq, and the members of the committee met a number of times with the other members of the parliament too, but it was of no use. The target option was diverted towards the university professors in the Kabul University, where some re-known professors from QUM and MASHAD was invited from Iran and work was started on the draft law in a four day seminar held in Kabul. Their views were prepared and published, at the same time it was heard that draft law has been put forward for discussion session in the parliament. The committee then decided to meet with Mr Mohsini related to the draft law.