The Afghanistan Women's Empowerment Program (AWEP)
The Afghanistan Women’s Empowerment Program (AWEP)
The Afghanistan Women’s Empowerment Program (AWEP) is a project of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) that aims to advance women’s empowerment by increasing social and economic participation of women in 36 districts of Takhar, Baghlan and Bamyan provinces of Afghanistan. It will run from 2016-2020. The beneficiaries include rural women, personnel of the Afghan Government’s Departments of Women Affairs (DoWA) and District Governor Offices (DGOs), religious leaders, the local Community Development Councils (CDCs), as well as members of civil society organizations and media. While challenges persist across the country, central and northern Afghanistan remain socially conservative and gender inequalities continue to hamper the advancement of rural women. To address these challenges, AWEP aims to 1) increase the participation of women in public life and, 2) increase the integration of women into the economy. CW4WAfghan is partnering with AKFC, and it implementing partner, Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan (AKFA), in this project, with CW4WAfghan's role to deliver literacy education to female beneficiaries.
The program will increase opportunities and support for women’s leadership and participation at the community and sub-national level. It aims to increase awareness of communities on gender equality issues through building the capacity of community institutions, such as CDCs, Cluster-Level Development Councils and District Development Assemblies/District Coordination Councils, Community-Based Savings Groups, religious and traditional leaders as well as government institutions, such as DGOs, DoWA. Community institutions will implement projects benefitting women through micro-grants, and cascade gained knowledge and skills to their constituents. Media institutions will be trained and encouraged to capture and disseminate women development stories to the public. AWEP will also provide vocational training, financial access, employment opportunities, literacy and numeracy skills, and facilitation of women entrepreneurship and business networking.
CW4WAfghan will draw on its successful methods from the Afghanistan Reads! Program in delivering literacy classes for AWEP beneficiaries. We will have an emphasis on reading promotion and equipping teachers with librarian skills so they effectively engage literary learners in reading activities. Each literacy class will have a small mobile library, and women will take the books home to read with their families. We will also continue to integrate life skills and livelihoods education into the literacy classes, to be relevant and meaningful for our rural population of new readers.
Undertaken in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation Canada with the generous financial support of the Government of Canada