Promote: Women in the Economy

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Promote (Promoting Gender Equality in National Priority Programs) is a five year USAID initiative that will enable educated Afghan women to enter and advance within mainstream social, political and economic sectors, such that they are able to assume decision-making and leadership roles at all levels of society. Ultimately, Promote will improve the status of Afghan women and accelerate inclusive, sustainable development and social progress in Afghanistan. Women in the Economy is a task order under Promote with a focus on both private sector and workforce development. Women in the Economy will provide thousands of women with the skills, voice, and resources to contribute to Afghanistan’s economic development and poverty reduction goals as well as to influence service delivery, education, and workplace policies to respond to the needs of women in the economy.

Women in the Economy assists women-owned businesses and businesses that hire women to perform better, increasing income growth and sustainability of these businesses. Providing technical assistance, industry-specific business skills training and improved access to markets are Women in the Economy key services for leveraging growth in the private sector. Women in the Economy also supports the development of business development service (BDS) providers in regional markets that are affordable for Afghan SMEs, meet local needs, and deliver quality services aligned with international best practices.

Women in the Economy supports educated women between the ages of 18 and 30 in finding new or better jobs through career counseling, workplace skills development, and technical skills training based on market demand, by partnering with local educational, vocational, and technical training providers to deliver training and certification programs. The project also supports internships, apprenticeships, and job placement services that give women the opportunity to gain work experience, prove their capabilities to employers, and secure new or better positions. Women in the Economy will also incentivize companies to improve workplace environments for women.

Women in the Economy is based in five regional economic zones across Afghanistan with offices in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar but is expected to upscale, replicate, and expand activities into new areas in years 2 and 3. The following are Women in the Economy’s projected achievements: