Minister of Women's Affairs Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar and U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker attend the Ambassador's Small Grants Program capstone conference.
The Ambassador’s Small Grants Program to Support Gender Equality in Afghanistan held a capstone conference today to highlight two years of project implementation. Designed to enhance the social, economic, and political status of the women and girls in Afghanistan, the USAID-funded project provided economic development support, vocational training, improved family healthcare, and education and literacy training for more than 400,000 Afghan women in 180 districts nationwide. The project also taught men and women to better advocate for gender equality leading to improved participation in the social and political development of Afghanistan.
Speaking at the capstone event, U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker said, “As women leaders in Afghanistan, your role in helping to build the capacity of Afghanistan’s government and civil society, participating in decision-making, and in holding your government accountable to its people, is essential.” Crocker added, “The U.S. Government will maintain a strong focus on women’s rights and issues in Afghanistan and will look to you to continue a productive partnership as your country continues to advance towards peace and stability.”
The USAID project has awarded more than 1,000 grants totaling more than $16 million to support women-
U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker (center) listens to remarks given by Minister of Women's Affairs Dr. Husn Bany Ghazanfar.
focused civil society groups in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, provided ongoing technical support to 120 women-focused organizations, and formally registered an additional 350 civil society groups with the Government of Afghanistan.
Setting the stage for lasting positive change for Afghan women, 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 nationwide advocacy efforts and campaigns focusing on women’s and girls’ access to education, women’s access to justice and women’s political participation and leadership. Addressing the audience, Minister of Women’s Affairs Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar discussed the importance of the project for Afghan women and committed her 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.
Despite the project closing, hundreds of civil society organizations now have the tools to continue to operate, generate income, and share knowledge about the importance of women’s participation and education to other communities nationwide.
2011.11.20 Press Release ASGP Closing (English)
2011.11.20 Press Release ASGP Closing (Dari)
2011.11.20 Press Release ASGP Closing (Pashto)