Decades of war have taken an immense toll on all Afghans, particularly on women and girls who face significant barriers in accessing basic services and exercising their rights. In many places, women lack financial independence, and are restricted in their movements and power to make decisions for themselves. While Afghanistan is making some progress on women's rights, conservative attitudes tend to prevail throughout the country.
While women's rights have improved in recent years, especially in larger cities such as the country's capital of Kabul, Afghanistan is still considered one of the toughest places in the world to be a woman. Many women face significant obstacles in the work place, hindering their ability to advance professionally. They face significant financial barriers in paying for additional certification or higher education, which are often required for promotion.
Relief International will award $5,000 in education grants to female members of its staff. Grants will be selected through a competitive application process and applicants will be required to submit a proposal outlining how the scholarship will help with their professional goals. Successful applicants will be expected to conduct a short presentation on the degree or training they receive. Grants will be complemented by a number of office-wide gender initiatives including brown bag lunches.
We believe these activities will help to champion women in the workplace in Afghanistan by providing them with the tools they need to succeed. These scholarships will help women advance in their workplace and attain senior leadership roles, contributing to a more equal society.