Business is thriving at Qalat’s only slaughterhouse and it is seen as a remarkable example of the southern Afghan city’s first public private partnership.
When Lashkar Gah municipality marked the graduation of 12 girls from high school, it was a first. The ceremony demonstrated the southern Afghan city’s support for empowering women in a region that has traditionally kept them at home. It marked the success of efforts by USAID’s Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations (RAMP UP) – South.
Farhad Ahmad, another member of the Afghan team, returned from the competition deeply impressed by the respect for diversity he observed in the US. “I had heard a lot of things about the US. Then I went there and saw that some things weren’t true; like that we could not find books about Islamic Law. [In fact] I was impressed with the collection [at Columbia University].”
For a village in eastern Afghanistan, it took a wall to start building a better future. The new fence around the school gave families the confidence to send their children to study without worrying about their safety. Till then, they feared they might be kidnapped and sold in neighboring Pakistan. Or that insurgents would try to stop girls from going to school.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Urban Development is unable to pursue gender-sensitive procedures, notably in housing distribution. This is partly because there are very few women in key positions at the Ministry. The Afghan government is acutely aware of the gender gap. It wants 30 per cent of all employees to be women by 2014. Women currently account for just 18 per cent.
Last updated: January 16, 2015