Women's Empowerment

Women continue to lack access to education, health and employment which has restricted their participation in economic activities. With the predominance of patriarchal social values, it is not a coincidence that Afghanistan has one of the highest incidences of gender-based violence, globally. Women and girls face a dual battle of being victims of a perpetual wave of domestic violence that spans their entire life--from physical and sexual abuse to psychological degradation. This has been exacerbated by the erosion of local livelihoods, and insecurity at the hands of armed groups which have seamlessly contributed to female vulnerability.

Our Goals

UNDP supports the Government of Afghanistan to help women to take-up leadership roles and see that women are supported and trained to take part in decision-making processes at the community level, and in sub-national and national governance roles. UNDP also works with civil society to extend justice and legal aid to more women.MORE

A Home-Based Embroidery Business Witnesses Twofold Increase in Profit

Azima Safi, 50, runs a small embroidery business in Jalalabad. She learned sewing handicrafts when she lived with her family as a refugee in Peshawar, Pakistan during the 90s. As the oldest kid in the family, she had to quit school at grade five and work for someone else making handicrafts at a low daily wage, which she spent on her siblings’ schooling. Upon returning to Afghanistan in 1998, she started up a home-based embroidery business of her own in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province. MORE

Our Stories

  • A member of the media attends a workshop in Kabul on the Access to Information Law. Photo: UNDP Afghanistan / 2015

    Improving Accountability Through Access to Information

    Kabul, April 2015 — While doing a story on maternal health in Afghanistan, journalist Mary Nabardaeen wanted to know how many women had died in childbirth at amore

  • A woman waits at the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association office in Herat to seek legal aid for her case. Photo: UNDP Afghanistan / 2015

    UNDP Finds Lawyers for Women, Children and the Poorest in Herat

    Herat, May 2015 — Fahima*, pregnant, was forced by her husband to crawl on all fours with the family’s dogs. It was just one of the waysmore

  • UNDP Afghanistan / GEP / Anusha Ahmadi: Sima Gul, 38, who takes responsibility off her sick husband's shoulders through making and selling small pieces of jewelry.

    Jewelry Making Brings Hope to Impoverished Women in Herat

    A UNDP programme trains women in jewelry making so that they can provide their families with incomes and escape abusive situations Every day Sediqa, 26, walksmore

  • UNDP Afghanistan: Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez, UNDP Country Director, presenting the N-Peace Award to Afghan women's rights activist, Ms. Masouda Karokhi.

    Afghan parliamentarian Masouda Karokhi Receives the 2013 N-Peace Award

    An Afghan women’s rights activist, Masouda Karokhi, has received in Kabul the 2013 N-Peace Award, an initiative supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Ms.more

Projects and Initiatives


Gender Equality Project II (GEP II)

The Gender Equality Project II focuses on three major areas or problems that Afghan women currently face; first, lack or weak support provides to women’s right through policies and legal documents of Afghanistan; Second, feeble participation of women in the economic activities of country; this has resulted in women dependency economically on other family members. more

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