AT News Report
KABUL: A total of 150 young Afghan women celebrated their graduation on Wednesday from USAID’s Women in Commercial Banking (WICB) program during an official ceremony attended by the Executive Directors of the Afghanistan Banks Association, the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Microfinance Association, and representatives from private banks, microfinance institutions, insurance companies and other stakeholders.
“Increasing the number of women in the financial sector, particularly in decision-making and lending roles, will change the way banks engage with women, ultimately making a wide range of financial services more accessible to women,” said Tina Dooley-Jones, USAID Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director.
Implemented by the Afghanistan Institute of Banking and Finance (AIBF) in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Kandahar and Nangarhar, the Women in Commercial Banking program provided the graduates with the technical and managerial skills, as well as the valuable work experience needed to secure permanent jobs in the country’s banking and financial sectors. The young women received six months of classroom training at AIBF, followed by three-month internships in commercial banks. Twenty-six of the trainees have already transitioned to full-time jobs in various commercial banks.
Mr. Lutful Haq Noor, the Chief Executive Officer of AIBF, said: “The WICB was an essential program. It was a great initiative taken by USAID to bridge the gap between male and female professionals in the banking sector of Afghanistan.”
“The WICB program was a good platform for me to enhance my knowledge, skills and practical experience. This program enabled me to get a full-time job with the Islamic Bank of Afghanistan,” Ms. Frozan Laheeb, a graduate, said.