Why do we work in Afghanistan?
Each time you vote, you fear for your life.
Your legal system does not protect you from violence and rape.
If you try to go to school, you risk being attacked.
This is today's Afghanistan.
In recent years, a resurgence in Taliban forces, human trafficking and armed warlords have destroyed the status and safety of Afghan women. But they have hope — and the determination to strive — for a better future.
With your help, Women for Women International is working with women in Afghanistan to rebuild their lives.
What you help us do in Afghanistan
Our programs in Afghanistan include direct financial aid, rights awareness classes, job-skills training and emotional support. The one-year program was developed for Afghanistan's special challenges and demands, and includes job-skills training that helps women earn an income and support themselves, with courses in:
Gem-cutting — taking advantage of Afghanistan’s rich natural resources and giving women a skill to help them earn an income by cutting gems for jewelry
Poultry — women in Afghanistan’s Parwan and Nangarhar provinces are trained in producing fresh eggs for local markets
Vegetable greenhouses - to give women access to a source of food, as well as produce to be sold at market
Other vocational training tracks include:
- Goat keeping
- Rug weaving
Women for Women International has operated in Afghanistan since 2002. Our programs have helped more than 20,000 women in 16 communities.
Among Women for Women International-Afghanistan program participants and graduates:
- 94% report improvements in their physical health
- 88% are actively participating in key household decisions
- 94% train and mentor other women in their community
- 83% are earning an income
Azada was 14 when her father asked her to marry a cousin of hers; hoping, as is common in some forms of Islam, that a relative would treat her better than a stranger. It wasn’t the case.
Azada had two daughters with her husband, and wondered how she’d ever be able to escape his abuse. Finally her father agreed she should divorce, and she lived with him in Pakistan, performing difficult and low-paying labor to survive, until the Taliban fell in 2001.
Upon her return to Kabul with hter family, Azada enrolled in Women for Women International’s sponsorship program and learned to cut semi-precious stones for jewelry. Now she teaches other women the skills she acquired with Women for Women International. Her most prized possession is her certificate of employment. “I never thought that I would have the opportunity to support myself without a man,” Azada says. “Now... I am doing it!”