AT News Report-KABUL: At least 400 Afghan women graduated today from an internship program aimed at providing Afghanistan with a pool of educated women ready to join the government workforce. The women were participants in USAID’s Promote: Women in Government (WIG) project. WIG supports the Government of Afghanistan’s goal of increasing women’s participation in government to 30 percent by 2020, a 7.5 percent increase from the 2017 level per Afghanistan’s Central Statistics Office.
During the graduation ceremony, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, acknowledged the contribution of the United States Government to the Afghan government’s gender development agenda. He cited USAID’s internship program as helping to boost the government’s workforce.
“The Afghanistan government needs to invigorate the civil service with qualified, educated, well-trained women. These interns graduating today will bring energy, novel ideas, skills, and competencies to our government”, said Abdullah.
The one-year civil service internship program equips women with knowledge and skills to effectively integrate into the government workforce upon graduation. Graduates are awarded a government-issued certificate equivalent to one year’s worth of professional experience, which satisfies the minimum job experience required for mid- and entry-level positions in government.
As part of WIG, USAID has trained more than 3,000 women to serve in the government, which helped to respond to the Government of Afghanistan’s larger efforts to improve service delivery by identifying 17,700 new civil service positions at national and subnational levels. The WIG program is implemented in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Kandahar, and Nangarhar.
“We have now completed our training and are ready to work in government, thanks to USAID for making all this happen. You developed our skills and competencies, taught us to be confident, and prepared us to become leaders. We are ready to go forward! To our government officials, we would like to say: give us the opportunity to serve the government,” said Somaya Karokhi, one of the graduates.
Other dignitaries present at the graduation were Chairman Ahmad Nader Naderi of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission; Minister of Women’s Affairs, H.E. Delbar Nazari; Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, H.E. Faizullah Zaki; officials of the Administrative Office of the President; other government institutions; and development partners.