According to the United Nations’ latest Gender Inequality Index, Afghanistan is one of the worst places to be a woman today.
Women’s human rights violations are rampant and occur in both the public and private spheres: gender-based violence, a lack of or limited access to education, limited access to training and proper equipment for medical staff, a lack of economic prospects…etc.
There is an urgent need to create employment opportunities as the unemployment rate reached 40% in 2016 in Afghanistan. Women are severely affected by unemployment and only represent 19% of the active population.
There is also number of important inequalities in terms of access to education. During the Taliban rule, girls’ education was forbidden. Today, even though the ban has been lifted, women and girls still struggle daily to access education. Only 24% of Afghan women know how to read and write. In Afghanistan, 38% of children, primarily girls, are unable to access schooling – only 71 girls are in school for 100 boys. Additionally, only 30% of the 220,000 teachers in Afghanistan are women.
Finally, even though children only start attending school at age 6, there is no systematic provision of early childhood education and care, especially in rural areas. Afghanistan has one of the highest levels of child malnutrition in the world, with 41% of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition.
The solutions we're proposing
For over 20 years, our field partner, Afghanistan Libre, has been working to improve the lives of Afghan women and girls. The organization aims to empower women and raise awareness about women’s rights, enabling them to become active members of society and to be involved in the sustainable development of their country.
Afghanistan Libre works to raise awareness among and involve all members of the community to ensure the success and sustainability of its programs to help women become more independent, for themselves, their families, and their country.
Today, the association manages six schools for girls in rural areas of Afghanistan and since 2004, has opened four kindergartens in the schools’ compounds. The nurseries welcome around 100 children. They cater primarily to schoolteachers, providing them safe and secure childcare services and enabling them to exercise their profession freely.
The nursery program provides the children access to healthcare and education, enabling them to grow and develop in a safe and healthy environment. The program also ensures that the children receive at least one balanced meal per day. The children are cared for by dedicated and qualified professionals, trained in early child learning, and are exposed to different learning methods, including drawing, music, and collective games.
Finally, the program facilitates the professional development of the nursery staff. Every year, the child caretakers receive additional training in preschool education, enabling to develop new activities for the children, while the kitchen staff receives further training in nutrition, so that they can prepare balanced meals for the children.
THE IMPACT OF GIVING
Thanks to your generosity, Afghanistan Libre will be able to maintain and expand its nursery program, enabling hundreds of schoolteachers to continue to pursue their careers and become financially independent.
Additionally, your generous support will enable the association to renew and improve its pedagogical materials and infrastructure, so that it can welcome more children. The objective is to provide childcare services for single mothers and mothers who work during the day, and welcome children suffering from malnutrition or who need medical care.
Thanks to you, Afghanistan Liber will improve the children’s access to healthcare, by organizing regular visits of a doctor and by providing each child with a health record.
Finally, by enabling more women to maintain their teaching positions, Afghanistan Libre promotes girls’ education, as communities are often more likely to allow girls to attend school when they have female teachers. By enabling more girls to access education - some of whom may become future teachers – the program contributes to improving and strengthening the education system in Afghanistan.
By offering these women the opportunity to become autonomous and independent, the program enables women to become active members of their society, and contributes to reducing poverty and advancing development in Afghanistan.
“Where women’s education progresses, democracy progresses”
Chékéba HACHEMI, President of Afghanistan Libre