Promote: Women in the Economy is working to bridge the gap between education and employment opportunities through the introduction of “Forward Together” scholarships for women and girls.

Forward Together Scholarship Program for Young Afghan FemalesThe government estimates there are approximately 700,000 job seekers including high school graduates and those with college or university degrees who enter the job market each year with little to no prospects. “Domestic economic performance in 2013 and 2014 was even worse than expected, with massive economic shrinkage, large unemployment, capital flight, and a chronic as well as acute fiscal crisis as tax and custom collections plummeted. From 9 percent in 2012, Afghanistan’s GDP growth shrunk to 3.7 percent in 2013 and 2 percent in 2014.”

One of the largest barriers facing educated job seekers in Afghanistan today is gaining specific technical skills and job related experience to meet the demands of the job market. For example, there are many graduates entering the job market with general medical degrees who lack the specialization required to secure a job. Forward Together scholarships are designed to help Afghan women and girls who have a basic education to gain job specific technical skills needed by employers, with the goal of getting a job.

Applicants should have a high school, university, technical or vocational school education. Forward Together scholarships are intended to help women and girls between the ages of 18-30 who have identified a specific career or job opportunity but lack some workplace specific skills or qualifications to successfully apply for employment.

Scholarships will only be awarded for short-term technical training courses or programs that last less than one year. It is up to the applicant to identify the program or course of study. Scholarships can be in any technical subject as long as the applicant can clearly demonstrate how the training will help the applicant improve their business or get a new or better job. In other words, the applicant should have already identified a job or career where there is high demand from employers for a specific skill or certification, and be able to explain clearly in the scholarship application why the course of study will help them get this job or enter this career.

Scholarship packages will include tuition assistance of up to 70 percent of school fees, and/or stipends for transportation and food up to a limit of AFA 60,000. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout 2016 and 2017 subject to funding availability. For more information, please visit the website http://promote-wie.com/.