A scheme to train Afghan women to apply for – and get – jobs, gets off to a great start by enlisting their families’ support
15 MAY 2013 | BALKH, AFGHANISTAN
In March 2013, Mohammad Asef received an unusual request. It was about his daughter, Amena, who was all of 21. USAID’s Afghan Workforce Development Program (AWDP) wanted to know if Mr Asef was willing for Amena to receive financial management training as well as the basic skills required to find a job. Mr Asef agreed, happy that Amena would learn how to write a resume and how to explore Afghanistan’s competitive jobs market, where unemployment is estimated to be more than 30%.
With hindsight, he says it was reassuring to be consulted about the training program. “It gave me peace of mind,” he says, “to be contacted so that I knew where, how and by whom my daughter was going to be trained.”
He adds, “it encouraged me to give greater support to her as she strived to pursue a career and find a job.”
Mr Asef is one of many that AWDP contacted, ahead of its newest training program for 60 Afghan women. The program worked hard to enlist family support because this is considered key in a tradition-bound country like Afghanistan, where women generally need family approval, or at least the support of the male head of the family, before they embark on projects outside the home.
The outreach paid off. It resulted in enthusiastic participation in the program by the participants and their families.
Last updated: January 20, 2015