For Immediate Release

October 25, 2016

Kabul, Afghanistan – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MOLSAMD) celebrated the launch of a new mobile application that is designed to help Afghan women and girls cope with street harassment.  Three young Afghan women developed the Smartphone app, called Muhafiz, in response to a competition sponsored by Code Weekend, the largest Afghan software developer, at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

At an October 24, 2016 event held at the Government Media and Information Center (GMIC), the developers explained how the application allows women to report street harassment in real time, in a way that informs other women of potential problem areas, and puts the power in their hands to easily notify friends and family if they need assistance.

Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs, and Disabled also addressed the gathering. “To encourage strong participation of Afghan women in all aspects of life, we need to eradicate sexual harassment,” Oryakhil said.

USAID Mission Director Herbert Smith called Muhafiz “a promising tool for addressing street harassment of women and girls, thereby advancing their ability to work, go to school and engage in this country’s social and political life.”

USAID supported the application competition through its Promote program “Women in the Economy”, which works to improve the status of women and girls in Afghanistan and support their full participation in government, social life, education and the economy of Afghanistan.

With almost $17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.