USAID Announces New Project to Improve Women and Girls’ Literacy in Afghanistan

For Immediate Release

Sunday, September 8, 2013


On the occasion of International Literacy Day, USAID announced the launch of a new community-based project to improve women’s and girl’s literacy in Afghanistan.Some 840 women will receive literacy classes, and more than 20,000 people are expected to use 40 community libraries being set up by Afghanistan Reads, a two-year project that aims to improve the educational status of Afghan women and girls in Mazar-I-Sharif, Badakhshan, Kapisa, Bamiyan and Ghazni, Panjsheer and Kabul provinces. 

“Afghan girls still face significant challenges accessing basic education, and their ability to read suffers as a result. The Afghanistan Reads project will reinforce women’s and girls’ literacy skills and foster a culture of reading and learning,” said USAID Mission Director Bill Hammink.

USAID partnered with the Linda Norgrove Foundation and its sub-grantee, Canadian Women for Women Afghanistan, to fund community and home-based literacy classes for women and their children to address the disparity in literacy rates between men and women. Community libraries established through the project will strengthen reading comprehension in rural areas by increasing access to reading material. 

Community workshops will draw patrons to the libraries and promote community ownership of the library space.  Afghanistan Reads also will help libraries develop and document effective management practices that are relevant in the Afghan context. 

USAID is improving basic education through training and technical support to enhance teacher performance and knowledge. Since 2002, USAID has built more than 600 schools and provided more than over 100 million textbooks to schools throughout the country.


Last updated: August 30, 2017

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