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Women’s empowerment and involvement in the development process is strongly linked to economic growth and the overall achievement of USG objectives in Afghanistan. Of more than 333,000 Government of Afghanistan (GIRoA) employees, less than 20% are female. As part of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and Millennium Development Goal benchmarks, GIRoA has committed to raise this number. To support this goal, USAID launched the Women in Government (WIG) internship program in February 2010. The WIG program built women’s capacity to participate fully in Afghan society by providing internships to recent female university graduates with the goal of transitioning them into full-time positions in the public and private sectors. Following successful completion of the internship program, these women had developed essential skills, experience, and working relationships that will enable them to succeed as they start their professional lives.
In FY 2012, the project expanded the program with the goal of graduating an additional 120 interns. In response to GIRoA’s stated needs, the project conducted periodic need assessment surveys to ensure the needs of ministries are being met and to identify potential new internship areas. To build the interns’ skills and enable them to succeed in their positions, the WIG program provided capacity building workshops and trainings two days per week on topics such as good governance and accountability, human rights, leadership, business and financial management, and presentation skills. The project also established a formal association for interns to provide them with an opportunity to engage with their communities; build a network with past, present and, future interns; and take an active role in building and sustaining future opportunities for women graduates. The EGGI project ended in August 2013.
As of August 31, 2013, when it ended, the program had the below activities;
Complete the graduation and job placement of 120 active interns
Conduct regular Monitoring and Evaluation of interns and supervisors.
Support interns to identify full-time jobs following graduation.
Develop standard training material to support interns’ basic skills and professional skills development.
Conduct formal workshops and training sessions to build intern capacity and supplement on-the-job training on a systematic and continuous basis.
Develop formal intern alumni network through establishment of association and social media.
Provided internship opportunities to a total of 446 current and former interns to date.
All the 446 interns graduated, and achieved 70% job placement rate as of August, 2013.
Developed strong relationships with GIRoA intern supervisors, ministries’ Gender Unit officials, Kabul University faculty, and prominent women in the private sector.
Successful expansion of the program in Balkh, Herat, and Nangarhar provinces.
Promoted volunteerism by connecting interns with Kabul-area schools and farms.
Last updated: December 30, 2013