Final Report: PROMOTE: Women in Government.

Project Report | April 20, 2020

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Promote: Women in Government (WIG) activity shook up gender norms in Afghanistan, making strides toward equity in the civil service. WIG provided the government of Afghanistan with a strategic opportunity to advance women’s inclusion in the public sector.

Robbed of social, political, and economic justice, women have been severely marginalized by Afghanistan’s decades-long war. Discriminatory cultural and traditional norms, unsafe workplace environments, persistent harassment, weak protective policies, poverty, limited educational opportunities, and a fragmented, underdeveloped, inequitable public sector are obstinate barriers to women’s inclusion in society. From the activity’s beginning in 2015, WIG established conscious gender equity as the expectation for the government of Afghanistan. Three concerns were at the forefront: 1) how to build the capacity of women in the civil service; 2) how to ensure a strong, safe, secure, and equitable legal framework; and 3) how to cultivate public support for women working outside the home. This report also examined how men can be engaged to be supportive of gender equity.