Mon October 20, 2014
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Empowering women: USAID contributes $14m to MoWA

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By Farhad Naibkhel
KABUL: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a $14 million contribution to Afghanistan to help empower women. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the USAID and the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) and the Asia Foundation to undertake high-powered projects to improve women’s status.
Minister of Women’s Affairs Husn Banu Ghazanfar voiced her pleasure and said that the project will turn out to be a milestone in empowering women in Afghanistan and the MoWA will have a feather in its cap for women capacity building, leadership and advocacy policies.
Speaking at the function here on Tuesday she said that strengthening the capacity of the ministry and its provincial departments has been yet another prior of the project aimed at advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan.
Public awareness and education through door to door campaigns, workshops and seminars will be some other but key programs, which would be launched in the capital Kabul and 33 provinces across the country, she added.
This is a three years project, which will be implemented by the MoWA in a joint venture with the Asia foundation, she added. Operational Director of USAID in Afghanistan said that the project will help the MoWA to protect the achievements made during the past ten years regarding women’s status and role in Afghanistan. He said this it was not the end as further progress of women in the country has been of utmost importance. He said that the project will support the ministry to achieve its national goals in this regard.
Head of Women’s Affairs and Civil Society Commission of the Lower House Fawzia Kofi said that this project should be run as an investment not as a scheme.
She insisted that the project must be implemented in a manner to have a clear and sustainable outcome. She hailed the donors for supporting Afghan women in such a time when transition has been taking place. She said the gaps should be filled as a vacuum will be created by withdrawal of international troops in 2014. “When the international is leaving it is highly necessary that local departments should start works on empowering women and giving them their due status in the society, leadership, state institution and politics across the country,” she stressed.

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