Educating and empowering women in Afghanistan
|Title||Educating and empowering women in Afghanistan|
|Description||Thousands of Afghan women are denied access to education, skills training and work opportunities. The project will empower approximately 450 marginalised women and their daughters by providing literacy and business training.|
|Dates||Start: July 2010; End: June 2013 (Year 3 of 3)|
|Implementing partner||International Assistance Mission (IAM)|
Despite years of international attention and improvements in the infrastructure of the country, Afghanistan’s people, and women in particular, continue to face countless challenges. Traditional family values, influenced by Taliban rule, have denied women and girls an education or the opportunity to leave the home. Housebound women are excluded from society as they are illiterate, have little earning power and have no social meeting spaces. They often suffer from low confidence and poor self-esteem.
Without numeracy, literacy or business training, women who try to sell their homemade products are often exploited by market traders, who pay low prices for their work, leaving families in poverty. There are currently few organisations providing business skills training for women from low income families.
Development of the cities and towns has not been accompanied by access to employment. Wages do not cover average household expenses and women are generally excluded from the workplace. As a result of the war, many households do not have an able-bodied man to work, due to death, disability or depression.
This project is run by International Assistance Mission (IAM), an NGO building capacity in Afghanistan in the sectors of health and economic development. IAM began work in Afghanistan in 1966 and is the longest continuously serving NGO in the country.
Each year the project will provide 150 vulnerable women with the skills and knowledge to run home-based businesses to support their families.
Basic business awareness training will be provided in a culturally appropriate way, including product design, market awareness, pricing, marketing, quality assurance and cash handling. Literacy and numeracy training will give women the confidence and self-esteem to interact with society at a business level.
Accompanied trips to the markets will help the women to build up business relationships with the traders, and tutor them in how to secure good value for their products.
Girls will improve their literacy skills to enable them to enter the state school system, and help change the attitude of their families to female education.
Women will gain the skills and confidence to develop a business and secure contracts, increasing their self-esteem and ability to contribute to the household income and raise the family’s standard of living.
The next generation of women and girls will benefit by assuming higher expectations of life and moving further in education than their parents did.
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