Overall, during the year, there was a feeling of widespread arbitrariness in which despite an overall bleak situation, there were glimpses of hope and opportunities for NGOs and other groups to act.
This little hope was dramatically hit with two edits announced by Taliban at the end of December 2022 and banning women from higher education and from working for national and international NGOs.
These two bans did not affect our activities in 2022 as we had already completed our planned actions but have caused us to put activities on hold once again in 2023 with the necessity to re-think at our ways of working to remain relevant for women and girls.
The bans have de facto frozen a large part of aid delivery. The U.N. Women's Department said 86% of the 151 organizations surveyed have either stopped or are functioning partially.
We are still unable to assess the consequences of these bans in full, but they will certainly cause a further deterioration of the already dire living conditions of the majority of Afghan people
In 2022, at Womanity, we were able to negotiate an agreement with the TVET-Authority, an independent authority (with powers similar to the ones of a Ministry) that oversees the post-secondary vocational training in the entire country and that had expressed a positive view on girls´ education. Typically, TVET education requires two years of further education, grade 13th and 14th, in a series of subjects such as computer and technology, agriculture etc.
Since June 2022, following the Memorandum of Understanding with TVET-A, we enrolled 111 students, with 78 completing the entire course and 18 still enrolled in a class that was expected to be concluded in March 2023 and it is now on hold.
They were all female students in grade 13th and 14th of the Computer Technology Institute (CTI). While training them, we also conducted advanced training for 26 trainers of several TVET (technical vocation training) Institutes. 21 of them completed the course.
With the hope that the CTI could reopen for in person classes for girls in 2023, we also rehabilitated four computer labs so that they could be up and running for the next academic year.
The relationship with CTI has been positive and we were already on track to renew our agreement and organise new training in January 2023 when the edits banning women from higher education and from working in NGOs were announced. After this announcement, we were told that the conversation with TVET could not continue for the time being.
Early in the year 2022, we also supported 300 students with three months scholarship to pay tuition fees at the DEWA centre, the most well-known centre to prepare students for the Kankoor exam. The Kankoor exam is the national entry exam to enter University.
Ironically the exam took place in October, just two months before university was banned for women. Of the students we supported, 191 passed the exam, 7 joined private universities, 8 did not take the exam and 94 were not eligible for the exam in 2022 and were planning to take it in 2023. We had a success rate of 64% out of 300 students or 93% if we consider only the ones who qualified for the exam in 2022.
Additionally, we scaled up our university scholarship program in the computer science faculties from 11 students supported in 2021, to 33 students in 2023. Of them, one left and 10 graduated by the end of 2022.