Defying Violence Against Women

A gender roundtable in progress
A gender roundtable in progress
USAID supports the United Nations’ International Elimination of Violence against Women Day
As the world marks November 25 as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, USAID is making the United Nations’ aims a reality in Afghanistan. USAID has helped Afghanistan’s Department of Women’s Affairs (DoWA) create new opportunities for women to engage with government in Herat and Farah in the west of the country.
USAID’s Stability in Key Areas-West (SIKA-West) project has worked closely with DoWA and the Department of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (DRRD) on ways to include women in decision-making. SIKA-West is a USAID-funded stabilization program that will help Afghanistan transition to long-term, Afghan-led sustainable development.
Its efforts are already bearing fruit in western Afghanistan. In Herat’s Shindand district, seven women from a key development body are playing an active role on a committee that is focused on empowering women. It has proposed vocational training for women, including tailoring and agriculture/animal husbandry, as well as adult literacy programs.
The Herat Gender Working Group held its first meeting at the DRRD on November 10 and will continue to meet every week to develop specific proposals for action on gender-related issues. In Farah, DoWA produced a brochure titled Creating Lives Free of Violence. It provides information on Afghan laws on violence against women as well as contact details of local officials who can assist abused women. The Farah brochure has become a template for other districts in western Afghanistan, each of which is adapting it to its own needs, right down to providing local DoWA contact information.

Last updated: January 20, 2015

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