Karima Hamidi* is an intern in the pilot group of the USAID Promote: Women in Government internship program, which aims to support young women as they gain entry into the Afghan civil service.

Karima graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and has continued developing her professional skills as intern at Afghanistan Civil Service Institute (ACSI) to ultimately prepare her for the career she has dreamed of in the Afghan government.

Karima is Breaking Barriers by Following Her DreamsAfter having joined the USAID Promote: Women in Government internship program, Karima has felt an increased sense of self confidence, empowering her to make life decisions and career plans that fit her interests. Through the internship program, Karima has been placed in the recruitment department in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT). Since she began at MoCIT, she has been conducting background checks on candidates and supporting the development a recruitment database, which she thoroughly enjoys.

Not long after beginning her on-the-job training with MoCIT, Karima’s family asked her to take a chance and apply for an open teaching position. Respecting her family’s request, Karima applied and passed the written civil service test, competing with 3,000 other women. Upon receiving her test results, Karima, knowing that she had dreamt of a job with the Afghan civil service and not as a teacher, changed her mind and put on hold her teacher job offer with the government.

Excited, Karima has continued her on-the-job training as an intern with MoCIT and is looking forward to the day when she can join the civil service.

“I do not want to be a teacher all my life,” Karima said. “I want to have a job with a ministry where I can be involved in the decisions made in government. To achieve this, I talked with my family and fiancée and decided to wait and see what government vacancies become available.” 

The USAID Promote: Women in Government internship program supported Karima to increase her self-confidence. She communicated with her family and helped change behaviors within her family. She overcame the barriers to ultimately get the support of her family to apply for a civil service position in the future.