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The United States declared its continued commitment to securing the future for women in Afghanistan when it announced Promote at an event hosted by the United States Institute of Peace on Thursday. Promote, a 5-year, $400 million project, will be the largest single investment that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has made to support the women of any nation.
Promote is a strategic investment in Afghan women at a critical moment in the nation's history, when gains for Afghan women are significant, but fragile. The project will build on existing and previous USAID programs focused on empowering women in Afghanistan, and will specifically target young, educated Afghan women, ages 18-30. The goal of the project is to enable these young women to advance to the next level of leadership in economic, political and civil sectors of Afghan society. Through the Promote project, the U.S. government seeks to significantly increase women's contributions to economic growth in Afghanistan; strengthen women's rights groups and coalitions; achieve a "critical mass" of women in government decision-making bodies; and ensure that women have the leadership and management skills necessary to be effective leaders. Promote will serve 75,000 young women over a 5-year period by providing scholarships to Afghan universities, provide training for 3,500 women-owned businesses, and support civil society coalitions in their efforts to establish and enforce laws protecting women's rights.
USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah, stated that Promote would reflect a "new model" for development funding to Afghanistan, one that "embraces partnerships across government, civil society, the private sector and development partners." $175 million of Promote's funding will remain contingent on the Government of Afghanistan's commitment to the standards set forth in agreements made in Tokyo in 2012. These commitments include credible efforts to fight corruption, clear and credible actions to hold free, fair and openly observable elections in 2014, and specific efforts to maintain, strengthen and enforce legislation that protects the human rights of women and girls.
The Bush Institute applauds Promote and the U.S. government's continued commitment to the women and girls of Afghanistan.
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Q&A with Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi, Member of Parliament, Afghanistan
Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi is a member of the national assembly of Afghanistan. She represents Badakhshan province in the Wolesi Jirga (house of representatives). Her story is one of survival, pursuit of dreams, and dedication to women’s well-being and health. Here, Dr. Ibrahimi shares her thoughts on the current state of Afghan women’s empowerment, the challenges women face in achieving equal rights, and the impact women have on the country’s long-term peace, security, and prosperity.
In Case You Missed It: The Breadwinner, an animated film about the strength and resilience of Afghan women and girls, premieres in the U.S.
The Breadwinner, a new animated film from executive producer Angelina Jolie, tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her, and ultimately risks her life to discover if he is still alive. The Breadwinner is an inspiring reminder of the power of stories, and their potential to unite and heal us all. It also provides an important spotlight on the struggle endured by Afghan families during the Taliban regime and the resilience of women and girls and their influence in building a brighter future for Afghanistan. Last year, the Bush Institute released We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope, which spotlights more of these courageous stories of Afghan women. Learn more about the book and our work by visiting:&nb