Photo: UNDP Afghanistan

UNDP Provided Short-Term Job Opportunities for 16,000 Women in Afghanistan

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says it has extended assistance to more than 16,000 women in Afghanistan by providing short-term job opportunities and targeted basic income support.

In a social media post on Monday, February 11, the UNDP stated that women-led households in Afghanistan face significant obstacles in obtaining income to support their livelihoods and families.

UNDP does not specify the details of job opportunities provided to women under the Taliban’s iron fist that has excluded women from the economic market and public life at large.

Since retaking power in August 2021, the Taliban have prevented girls from accessing secondary school education and beyond. They have restricted women’s freedom of movement outside the home and prohibited most from working in both public and private sector workplaces, including the United Nations and other aid agencies.

The Taliban’s continued ban on women’s participation in employment and education has led to substantial economic consequences for both Afghanistan and its people.

According to one UN report, women’s economic exclusion costs Afghanistan more than $1 billion every day.

The regime’s misogynistic policies undermine women’s roles in families and society, disrupts aid distribution, exacerbates poverty, and hampers economic progress.

The United Nations warned Taliban authorities on Friday, March 8, that their bans on women’s education and work risk pushing the country further into deeper poverty and international isolation.

The head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), on the occasion of International Women’s Day, reiterated the call for the fundamentalist regime to lift the restrictions, emphasizing the importance of investing in women.

“It is heartbreaking that we are seeing precisely the opposite unfolding in Afghanistan: a catastrophic and deliberate disinvestment that is causing immense harm to women and girls, creating only barriers to sustainable peace and prosperity,” UNAMA chief said.

Alison Davidian, Special Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan, said that “the space for Afghan women and girls continues to shrink at an alarming pace, and with it Afghanistan’s future prospects to escape a vicious cycle of war, poverty, and isolation.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that out of the 23.7 million people in Afghanistan requiring life-saving assistance this year, 52% of them are women and girls.

In a statement dated Monday, March 11, OCHA urged the international community and organizations to support Afghan women and girls, who are among the most affected.

The UN agency quoted a female aid worker in Kabul saying, “When I visit women’s enterprises in the field in Afghanistan, their optimism and persistence is truly uplifting and inspiring. They see the UN as their hope.”