The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken launched the Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience (AWER) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
“AWER is a new public-private partnership between the Department of State and Boston University that aims to catalyze business, philanthropic, and civil society commitments to advance Afghan women’s entrepreneurship, employment, and educational opportunities in Afghanistan and third countries,” the US Department of State said in a press release.
This comes as some women's rights activists said that many women have become jobless.
The event was attended by Afghan women entrepreneurs, business leaders and civil society members, as well as representatives of the US and other foreign governments, including US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West and US special envoy for Afghanistan Women and Human Rights Rina Amiri.
“This is a public-private partnership that will help improve access to education training, expand job opportunity, support women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan as well as in other countries. Now I don’t want to sugarcoat it. This is going to be hard, given the severe restraint imposed by the Taliban. But we are determined to safely deliver this support to women in Afghanistan,” Blinken said at the event.
Speaking at the event, Blinken noted Deloitte’s commitment to work with the Alliance’s first member Pod in mentoring 2,000 Afghan women under MWMA as an example of how AWER aims to foster economic opportunity for Afghan women and girls, the statement reads.
The announcement of the Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience by the Afghan women comes as many women became jobless after the Islamic Emirate swept into power.
“If such programs are launched for girls, they will surely improve. As you and I know that women are contributing half of the society,” said Manizha Nasiri, a women’s rights activist.
“We see that girls have been affected recently. They are deprived of the right to education. They lost their jobs. They are facing a lot of economic challenges,” said Husna Rasuli, a civil rights activist.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said that more than 4,000 women entrepreneurs have invested in the country.
“The girls who live in Afghanistan have faced restrictions after the changes happened in the country. Especially considering the situation that many women cannot go to their jobs in government departments,” said Roya Hafizi, acting head of the ACCI.