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Rural Afghan Women


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Women comprise 60% of Afghanistan’s population and a majority of the agricultural workforce, yet their participation is meagerly rewarded.  GPFA is working to change that.

Our dedicated Afghan staff assist women to increase their incomes and have a voice in their communities by developing and managing farm businesses, mobilizing into associations, and learning new technical, business and numeracy skills. Rural Afghan women are pursuing opportunities that were previously unimaginable to them and—in the process—they are remaking traditional gender roles and dramatically changing societal attitudes.

Enterprise Development

GPFA’s Women Working Together Initiative, helps widows and female heads of household establish or revitalize their orchards, nurseries and farms, as well as provide opportunities to increase their income and food supplies through initiatives such as food preservation, underground fruit storage facilities, greenhouses, vegetable and strawberry production, beekeeping, and poultry.

Since the Initiative’s launch in 2005, GPFA has:

  • trained 8,800 women and enabled them to launch or enhance agricultural enterprises;
  • formed 2 legally registered women’s associations, 2 associations in the startup phase, and farmer groups;
  • and improved the lives of over 125,000 women and girls.


Mobilizing Women to Demand Greater Opportunity

In response to GPFA-sponsored celebrations on International Women’s Day, attended by over 1,600 women, GPFA and local officials responded by supporting the formation of the Mohammad Agha and Sayed Abad Women’s Associations.

GPFA mobilized women into legally-registered associations to enable support from all levels of government and institutions: district, national, international, NGOs, and perhaps most importantly, each other.  The Associations, each with over 200 members, develop enterprises and coordinate support from stakeholders. GPFA is confident that the Associations will serve as blueprints for empowering rural women across Afghanistan.

Read more about the Mohammad Agha Women’s Association here.

Building an Afghan Staff to Assure Women Succeed

To address the special needs and cultural considerations of Afghan women, GPFA has built a committed, courageous and growing staff of women agricultural professionals, project managers and trainers. In many conservative areas, delivering services that empower women means risking one’s life.

Mariam Sidiqi, GPFA’s Project Manager, explains the importance and motivation behind our work:

“The women who live in this province are brave to participate in our program too. I am looking forward to helping these women find resources and provide them with opportunities to improve their families’ lives and livelihoods through Global Partnership for Afghanistan. Hopefully, this work will help the dreams of these grandmothers and mothers, their daughters and granddaughters, come true.”

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