Afghan Women Work For Equality

Khatira hard at work at a radio station in Lashkar Gah
Khatira hard at work at a radio station in Lashkar Gah
USAID trains women journalists in southern Afghanistan as part of a strategy that gives women more economic opportunities and the ability to work outside the family home
Khatira Faizi starts every day writing news scripts at a local radio station in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. This could hardly be called controversial activity, but Khatira remains conscious that she is crossing a line by working outside her home.
Khatira is one of many women journalists trained by USAID as part of a nationwide gender strategy aiming to empower women as well as change the way that municipalities in southern Afghanistan reach out to female residents. Khatira was one of nine local women who participated in the USAID sponsored workshop for women journalists on photography and news writing.
In Helmand, restrictive local customs combine with a difficult security situation make it quite difficult for women to work outside the family home. Even those who brave the disapproval of family and community find it difficult to acquire the skills necessary to be considered for good jobs.  In partnership with the Afghan government, USAID is trying to increase economic opportunities for women, especially for employment options which are deemed sustainable post transition.
Khatira says the training was invaluable. “Now when I write for news agencies, my friends tell me that I copied the news from the internet because they do not trust how much I improved,” she says.
USAID’s RAMP UP-South has trained 66 women in a variety of topics including Gender Awareness, Photography and News Writing, Data Entry Training, Solid Waste Management Committee Establishment, Parcel Registration, and Basic Communication.

Last updated: January 20, 2015

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