Since the fall of Taliban, more and more women in Afghanistan have taken up public roles including as ministers, governors, police and even soldiers. More girls than ever before are now enrolled in schools with many going on to earn university degrees.
Perhaps the biggest win in women’s progress, has been the acceptance of them as integral players in uplifting Afghanistan’s economy. Women have taken up jobs in factories, retail and healthcare.
Oxfam has also noted the crucial role women play in the global food system, both as producers and workers in plantations and processing plants.
At Mahboba’s Promise, we understand the need to make women an integral part of the food system in Afghanistan. This is why our projects, such as the permaculture farm in Kabul and the Parwan Garden in the province of Parwan, are geared towards providing opportunities to women to develop agriculture based skills while having access to income generating work.
Projects like these can help to empower women especially those most vulnerable such as widows, to gain financial stability and food security for their families
However, women’s progress in Afghanistan still has a long way to go and is constantly hampered by ongoing resistance from various factions. The ongoing peace talks have created an air of trepidation regarding women’s rights.
In such an environment, reiterating the need and creating the opportunity for women to have access to education, health care and work is imperative.
In these testing time, our charity will seek to continue with its education based projects to tackle the gender disparity in Afghanistan by providing equal opportunity to education to both boys and girls.
The Abdara Girls School in Panjshir Valley opened in 2003 for example, has seen hundreds of graduates, and today provides education to over 350 girls. In fact, some of the school’s graduates have even gone on to pursue further education at various universities in Afghanistan.
Education must remain a key focus to enable the children and youth of Afghanistan to develop key skills to bring about sustainable change within the society.
Such ongoing international support is crucial for helping women make progress in Afghanistan. Much work is needed at grass root levels to tackle some inherent issues women face on a daily basis such as domestic violence, discrimination and denial of basic rights.
Global institutions, charities and development agencies must play their part in undertaking development projects that have a lasting impact for the people of Afghanistan.
The education and vocational training programs must aim at providing a platform for young people to play a more conducive role in the Country’s progress.
The most effective way to help Afghanistan is to use its people to build their own future. Now, more than ever support is required in order to provide a secure and better future to those most in need in Afghanistan.
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