Irvine, Calif. – The JAMS Foundation has granted $145,000 to provide urgently needed financial support for Afghan women judges currently residing in the United States due to the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan. The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), an association of active and sitting judges, consulted on the development of this emergency relief program.
Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021, women—especially professional and educated women—were disproportionately affected and targeted. Soon after taking control, the Taliban began making death threats against women judges as a result of their work with Americans or with the Afghan government. Over the course of weeks and months, a small core group of international judges, through the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), worked to help secure the rescue and evacuation of over 200 Afghan women judges and their families. They are now spread across the world, with approximately 30 of these brave women living in the United States.
These women face exigent challenges, including finding employment and acclimating to the United States. Through the JAMS Foundation, they will receive financial support to help cover their basic needs (including food, housing assistance and health care).
“We are proud to do our part to support Afghan women judges who have relocated to the United States and are working to build new lives for themselves and their families. We admire these women for their strength and perseverance and are determined to help ease their transition."
- David Brandon, JAMS Foundation managing director
Beyond the work of the JAMS Foundation, the NAWJ has formed “mentor teams” in most locations where judges are living. This network ensures that Afghan judges have local friends, networking opportunities, advisors and mentors. The American Bar Association has also formed a pilot project to help support the Afghan legal professionals who are able to qualify to obtain an LL.M. in the United States and to sit for the bar exam.
About the JAMS Foundation
The nonprofit JAMS Foundation was established in 2002 by JAMS, the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution services worldwide. The mission of the JAMS Foundation is to provide financial assistance for conflict resolution initiatives with national and international impact and to share its dispute resolution expertise for the benefit of the public interest.
The Foundation is funded entirely by contributions from JAMS neutrals, executives and associates, and by a substantial annual donation from JAMS. To uphold the company’s core value of neutrality, the Foundation accepts no donations outside of JAMS. The Foundation is currently comprised of 300 principal benefactors and has provided more than $11 million in grant funding since its inception.