Building on the momentum of the Promote Musharikat National Summit in May, the Musharikat Access to Economic Opportunity Coalition is set to begin delivering on its objective to economically empower Afghan women.

In August, coalition members gained valuable practical experience when they were invited to meet with a delegation of senators visiting Herat to conduct regional stakeholder consultations. The session expanded the Coalition’s network of key stakeholders, provided practice in formally presenting the group’s agenda and objectives, and, most importantly, introduced the Coalition to the more challenging follow-on work of developing a position paper for presentation during the upcoming legislative session of the Meshrano Jirga.

On September 20-21, the Coalition participated in the Musharikat Coalition Organizational Development and Planning Working Session. During the workshop, the Coalition crafted a framework to further strengthen the group’s advocacy work and deepen members’ skills in shaping and influencing public policy.

Guest speakers delivered important information for use in Coalition advocacy campaigns. Mr. Saber Perdes, Policy and Planning Director General for Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled introduced MoLSAMD’s recently developed National Plan on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Ms. Durukhshan Esmati, Advisor to the President on Economic Development and Women’s Affairs, presented the Citizens’ Charter initiative to be presented at the Brussels Conference. Mr. Hasibullah Kalimzai, Deputy Speaker of the Meshrano Jirga, in his closing remarks stated, “Women’s economic support to their family strengthens our national economy.”

Advocacy to economically empower Afghan women is a long and complex process, as Access to Economic Opportunity Coalition members are learning. Promote Musharikat is guiding the way through tailored education and training and, more importantly, through exposure to practical, “on the job” advocacy work with key stakeholders.