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USAID project benefits over 400,000 Afghan womenBy Pajhwok Reporter Nov 20, 2011 - 18:17
KABUL (PAN): More than 400,000 women in 180 districts across the country have been provided economic development support, vocational training, improved family healthcare, education and literacy training under a USAID-funded project, the agency said on Sunday.
Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker told participants of a capstone conference: "As women leaders in Afghanistan, your role in helping to build the capacity of the government and civil society, participating in decision-making and in holding your government accountable to its people is essential."
The US government would maintain a strong focus on women's rights and issues in Afghanistan," the top diplomat promised. "The US government will look to you to continue a productive partnership as your country continues to advance towards peace and stability."
A USAID statement said the project had awarded more than 1,000 grants totaling more than id="mce_marker"6 million to support women-focused civil society groups in all 34 provinces of the country, in addition to ongoing technical support to 120 organisations.
The project established the Afghan Women's Advocacy Coalition, comprising 30 civil society groups, project grant recipients, individuals and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Coalition members are leading advocacy efforts and campaigns focusing on women’s access to education, justice and political participation.
Minister of Women’s Affairs Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar promised support to the women's coalition. The coalition is committed to continued advocacy for women's rights after the USAID project closes and has established itself as a permanent structure within the Afghan women's civil society movement.