Women in Afghanistan are not very visible in society. There is ongoing resistance to improving their rights, and girls are often prevented from going to school. Yet, it is women who symbolize the greatest hope for establishing sustainable peace in this war-torn country.
Development and Peace partner, the Afghan Women’s Resource Centre (AWRC), understands the important role women play in improving the living standards of communities and is striving to promote their active participation to ensure a more positive future for Afghanistan.
It is achieving this by providing vocational and literacy training, health education and micro-credit loans to women in some of the most impoverished parts of Afghanistan.
“Women are always key in building peace in any part of the world. In Afghanistan, it is women who have suffered throughout the war. They were widowed, they lost their husbands, brothers and sons. They face many forms of violence, including physical violence, and they have been deprived of education and work. They can understand very well how much peace is important for Afghanistan and how it would affect their own lives,” says Maryam Rahmani, a country representative for the AWRC.
In the village of Sherkhankhail, one of the poorest in the province of Kapisa, the AWRC is helping women overcome the many challenges they face to becoming active and significant actors in the development of their community by giving women the opportunity to start businesses, escape domestic violence and learn how to read. These opportunities are allowing the women of Sherkhankhail to support their families and each other, and feel proud of their accomplishments. In addition, these women now understand just how valuable they are to Afghan society and that they deserve to live in dignity.