Unlike their male counterparts, it is difficult for female students in Afghanistan to hold part-time jobs where
Female undergraduate students at Kabul University learn practical skills through the mentoring program.
they can apply their education in real-life experiences. A fourth year architecture student explained, “Being a woman, we face lots of challenges in this field. The most common problem for women is that we have less opportunity for site visits and meeting professional people.”
That is until USAID began a specific mentoring program with the women studying architecture and engineering at Kabul University. The program has given female undergraduate students, most in their fourth and fifth year of schooling, the chance to see how their classroom learning carries over to the workplace. They study architectural and engineering plans and learn with professionals. This gives the women an opportunity to see the infrastructure put in place as well as observe the design take shape.
The program included a site visit to Ghazi High School while the building was under construction. A visit to the Sardar Kabuli School construction site is also planned.
USAID showed their concept designs for a regional and provincial training center to the students and explained the process of developing construction plans. The importance of coordination between architects and engineers during the design process was emphasized.
Sessions that invite a variety of architecture and engineering professionals to mentor the students and additional site visits supplement the program. As Freshda, a fifth year architecture student explained, “I think these meetings and site visits give us a better education. It is still very hard for women in my country to have the same opportunities as men but this program is making it better. Meeting engineers and architects and learning how they have improved their community makes me excited to use my education to improve my country.”
Unchartered Territories for Women