On April 25, 2017, Afghanistan’s First Lady Rula Ghani launched the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Women’s Empowerment Fair in Kabul, Afghanistan. This event showcased the work undertaken over the past ten years by a number of projects and organizations including the Tetra Tech-implemented USAID Women’s Leadership Development (WLD) project and the USAID Initiative to Strengthen Local Administrations (ISLA).

The WLD project works with educated young women between the ages of 18 and 30 and aims to equip them with the advanced skills, leadership acumen, and self-confidence to compete successfully for high-ranking positions in Afghan society.

Because of Tetra Tech’s success in fostering young Afghan women leaders under the WLD project, USAID Afghanistan asked the WLD project team to assist with showcasing the accomplishments of women’s empowerment activities in Afghanistan funded by international donors. The resulting Women’s Empowerment Fair took place over two days and involved almost a thousand participants including representatives from the Embassies of Finland and the Netherlands, government, and international organizations including the World Bank and United Nations agencies. More than 26 projects from USAID, United Nations agencies, the Afghan Ministry of Labor, and local organizations working for women’s empowerment were represented at the event.

To open the event, Afghanistan’s First Lady Rula Ghani remarked, “this is an opportunity for women, so use this opportunity to empower women further.” The fair included networking sessions, project presentation booths, and an art exhibition. The First Lady commented that she was extremely impressed with the artwork produced by graduates of the WLD project and asked if she could have one of the pieces for her office.

The WLD project is a component of USAID Afghanistan’s Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs (PROMOTE). This program represents USAID’s largest-ever investment in women’s empowerment programing. Since it began in 2014 the program has aimed to empower women to become leaders alongside their male counterparts and ensure they have the skills, experience, knowledge, and networks to succeed. Learn more about Tetra Tech’s role on the WLD project.