Since 2006, WCI has hosted a series of programs in Afghanistan focused on economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, and media in several areas across the country, including Kabul, Parwan, Panjshir, and Bamyan. Our continued presence in Afghanistan is reflective of our commitment to promoting women’s rights throughout the region, both through our programming and our community partnerships with Afghani organizations.
From 1996 onwards, Afghanistan has been in a fragile political state due to the rise of the Taliban. The effects of this delicate state has had adverse effects on the women of Afghanistan. 87% of women have experienced some form of violence, whether that be psychological, physical, or forced marriage, and 62% have experienced more than one form of violence. Our program participants and mediators have had firsthand experience with such experiences, and their bravery and perseverance.
Our Afghanistan programs, run by Nasrin Rafiq, provide women with the skills and resources to be empowered, independent, and resilient in the face of instability. Read more about our Afghanistan programs here.
WCI programs have included workshops, trainings and dialogue on the Afghan Constitution, civic participation, human rights, inter-gender communication, and leadership. Our Afghanistan initiative focuses on women’s political participation at national and local levels and mobilization of women in rural outreach projects, which aim to build the capacity of women in politics.
WCI’s Economic Empowerment curriculum equips women to take on larger roles in household financial decisions and start their own businesses through training in business and financial literacy skills, entrepreneurship, and basic budgeting. WCI has foundprograms that encourage women’s economic venture significantly increase women’s self-confidence, their ability to manage household finances, and ultimately impact broader social change.
WCI’s programs have been designed to meet the specific needs of women affected by long-standing conflict, poverty and national trauma. Many Afghani women face domestic violence and abuse in their lifetimes, and WCI's Afghanistan initiative has focused on navigating conflicts surrounding gender with regard to the Qur’an and inter-gender communication in order to mitigate violence toward women.
"I found this workshop very important – it had a significant role on my current business and during the workshop I learned how to invest and raise funds for my tailoring program. It was a lifetime opportunity for me."
– Masooma, Afghanistan Program Participant
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan seeks to foster better communication between our two countries and promote international peace by strengthening democratic institutions.
The primary funder of WCI's Afghanistan program since 2018, Azizi Bank is one of the largest private commercial banks in Afghanistan. Through the efforts of its founder and President Mr. Mir Wais Azizi, the bank provides funding and assistance to institutions including schools, universities, and non-governmental organizations, and is committed to supporting Afghani women.
The Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA) works to advance women's rights in Afghanistan. Through collaboration and direction, MOWA ensures that the government responds equitably to the needs of women.
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