After a decade of endeavors working towards improved women’s rights in Afghanistan, gender equality/equity continues to be an issue among Afghan communities. Today, most Afghan women still face obstacles in all areas of society - both private and public.

To combat this, and to further empower Afghan women, USAID's Promote Women’s Leadership Development (WLD) Program is now providing Afghanistan’s talented, young (18-30), and educated women with the knowledge, skills, and networks they need to become future leaders.

At the initial phase, Women's Leadership Development conducted multiple sessions through private universities to increase awareness of the program andrecruit young women to apply for upcoming program courses. WLD acquainted the potential participants on the importance of their engagement in professional, leadership positions. The first round of outreach attracted more than 1,500 students, demonstrating Afghan women’s interest and enthusiasm for becoming future leaders and decision-makers in their society.

“If a woman finds her way to a decision-making position, Afghanistan will see a positive change,” said Mubaraka Paiwand, an LLB student of Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education.

Within just two weeks of outreach, the WLD team has distributed more than 1,500 application forms to private universities, women’s centers, and a hostel for girls living in Kabul. Requests from private and public institutions for WLD outreach sessions continue to come in to the program team on a regular basis.

Currently 400 applications are under the initial screening and review process. Once the applications are verified, they will be submitted to the Participants’ Selection Committee for final selection.

By completing the Professional Development Course, WLD participants will have the privilege to participate in additional development programs such as career observations, mentorship opportunities, and on-the-job learning and career development partnerships with renowned organizations. Upon completing the professional development course, potential participants will be introduced to other programs under Promote, such as Women in Government, Women in the Economy, and Women's Rights Groups and Coalitions.