Musharikat conducted its first consultative forum: the Emerging Women Advocates Forum on Jan. 27, in which 33 “next generation” young women advocates from 20 provinces worked together to identify and explore the priority issues which impact their ability to exercise their rights and fully participate in Afghan society. Participants came from as far away as Badakshan and Noorstan, with one woman traveling three days to attend the program.
They engaged cooperatively and enthusiastically with their counterparts from across the country and, by the program’s conclusion, built a civil advocacy network to stay connected by phone, email, Facebook and other social media applications.
At the close of the session, one young woman stood up and voiced her enthusiasm for the future. “This program is different,” she said “We are going to be allowed to work on issues of importance to them and to have support to work together on activities with a specific aim that could achieve a result.”
Musharikat, meaning ‘partnership’ or ‘participation’ in Dari and Pashto, is one of four Promote projects and is designed to build a cadre of activists and civil society organizations (CSOs) to effectively advocate for and advance women’s rights and empowerment. Through five regional offices − Kabul, Herat, Mazar, Jalalabad and Kandahar – Musharikat will work with more than 50 CSOs (at least two per province) and 5,000 activists across all 34 provinces, with a focus on the next generation of emerging leaders and CSOs.