The conditions women and girls in Afghanistan have improved substantially since 2001, enabled by the support of the international community, the Afghan government and civil society organizations. However, there is still a long way to go to ensure gender equality. Low-paid, unregulated employment, widespread harassment, limited political participation and educational opportunities, obstacles to getting fair treatment from the justice system are phenomenons still frequent in the Country. The Italian and the Afghan government started cooperating for gender equality in 2003. Italian Cooperation was initially focused on improving Afghan women’s economic empowerment and it later evolved to include other strategics areas, particularly the eradication of violence against women and girls, reproductive health and rights, and institutional support to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation is currently funding projects aimed at improving the economic empowerment and rights of women, partnering with Italian NGO and local civil society organizations. One of the projects supports the Afghan civil society to deliver vocational training and access to women employment in close collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled and the Ministry of Women Affairs in 5 provinces (Herat, Bamyan, Badakhshan, Kabul and Ghor). Moreover gender is mainstreamed in all the other sectorial initiatives, ranging from access to justice programmes to rural development interventions.

9948Support to women’s entrepreneurship through vocational training and reinforcement of Private Sector in Afghanistan