For Immediate Release
Saturday, May 4, 2013
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN- Eighty-six young women professionals, university graduates and senior students celebrated today the completion of a six-month internship program that prepared them to work in the financial sector.
The Afghan Women Internship Program in Banking and Financial Services started in September 2012 by the Afghanistan Institute of Banking and Finance (AIBF), with the support of USAID. Under the program, AIBF will train at least 300 women graduates or graduating students in banking and financial disciplines, to narrow the gap of the lack of women professionals in the financial industry.
A survey conducted by USAID’s Financial Access for Investing in the Development of Afghanistan (FAIDA) project in August 2012 indicated that women comprise only eight percent of the total workforce in Afghanistan’s financial sector. The lack of women working in financial institutions limits the access of Afghan women entrepreneurs to access financing.
At the graduation ceremony, Ms. Nooria Amarkhail spoke about the positive impact of the internship program as she prepares for a career. “I realized how valuable and relevant the knowledge I was getting from this training was. The learning I got from the classes and the practicum at a financial organization will help me transition into a formal job in banks or financial organizations.”
Ms. Fawzia Koofi, Member of the Parliament and the Head of Parliament’s Gender Committee, in her keynote speech stressed the need to move from the traditional sectors where women are predominantly engaged to more advanced and important ones, such as the financial sector.
“Afghan women professionals are very capable but we need to provide the environment and the opportunities where they can shine and put their abilities to practice,” said Ms. Koofi.
Of the 86 graduates, 53 have been placed in jobs, 13 are yet to be placed and the others have kept their employment plans on hold due to personal reasons. The second cycle of internship will start on the second week of May 2013.
Last updated: December 15, 2014