Qudsia at her dermatology clinic in Daikundi

Qudsia was born 20 years ago in the rural province of Daikundi in southern Afghanistan. She was a good student, and while only in the seventh grade, she was asked to become a teacher of the younger students.  Although now a teacher, she continued her own education till the 11th grade.  At this time she was 16, and her family arranged for her marriage to a 25 year old man whom she had never met. It is a customary practice in this region, and Qudsia feared her burgeoning career as an educationalist might come to an abrupt end.

“But I found my hero through my marriage,” she says.

Her new husband supported her career aspirations, and upon completion of her secondary education, the couple moved to Kabul so that Qudsia could enter the medial curriculum of Kateb University. After obtaining her degree, Qudsia and her husband returned to their native province where she soon found work as a Health Officer in a local hospital. Noticing a total lack of dermatology care, she sought to fill this gap.

Qudsia learned that USAID Promote: Women in the Economy (WIE) offers a variety of medical training courses under their Forward Together Scholarship program. Qusdia was accepted for a one month course in dermatology. Taking leave from her clinic work, Qudsia gained valuable practical experience from the training. After finishing her course, she once again returned to Daikundi where she and her husband opened their own small dermatology clinic. Qudsia now sees patients during the day at the hospital and after working hours from 4pm-8 pm she offers the first dermatology services to people needing skincare advice.

 “I am happy to be home in Daikundi providing new and different healthcare services to the women of my community. I thank my family, husband, and WIE for their support and the chance to advance my skills in medicine and grow my confidence," adds Qudsia.

WIE supports women aged 18 and over in finding new or better jobs through career counseling, workplace skills development, and technical skills training based on market demand.