Expanding Opportunities for Afghan Women

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Florance Alami at a construction site in Kabul, Afghanistan.

All over the world, there are obstacles blocking women’s progress in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In Afghanistan, USAID is trying to address this though our Promote Women Scholarship Program. Promote Scholars enrol in post-graduate degree programs in India followed by internships in Afghanistan.

Florance Alami was interested in water supply engineering and completed a bachelor’s degree from Kabul Polytechnic University. After earning her degree, she had her first professional experience with the Afghan Women Construction Company working on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects as a Water Supply and Canalization Engineer in Parwan Province.

Then she was accepted by the USAID Promote Women Scholarship Program to pursue a Master of Technology (MTech) certification with a specialisation in Construction Engineering and Management at SRM University in Chennai, India. This summer, she interned as a planning engineer with the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in Kabul and worked on a prototype of residential building designs.

As part of an active project, Florance was exposed to the nuances of working on a construction site. Her practical experience and classroom learning in India made Florance an asset to the Ministry. Her colleagues were so impressed with her work that they encouraged her to apply for a full-time position with the Ministry after completing her coursework.

Florance is among a select group of Afghan women pursuing graduate studies in STEM. In addition to the USAID program, she benefited from a supportive family and a mother who was a role model for her. Engineering is not a common nor easy field for women anywhere in the world, but she was determined.

Promote Scholars like Florance explore different professions and selected internships aligned with their studies and area of expertise. They intern with government organisations, local and international NGOs, private companies, and startups. All so they can be part of Afghanistan’s journey to self-reliance.

Last updated: April 18, 2020

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