Afghan women and girls have achieved significant gains in education, business, and politics over the last decade. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been supporting their advancement. Today, girls account for more than one-third of school children compared to nearly none in 2002. More than 120,000 young women have finished secondary school, and 40,000 are working on university degrees. More than 3,000 businesses are woman-owned, and women make up more than 25 percent of the Afghan parliament.

To continue and expand on this progress, USAID is funding the largest women’s empowerment program in its history: Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs (PROMOTE). PROMOTE is a 5-year joint commitment by the U.S. and Afghan governments focusing on education, promotion, and training of 75,000 Afghan women between 18 and 30. Tetra Tech is working with USAID to prepare a new generation of highly skilled, talented, and educated women to take leadership positions in the life of their country.

Tetra Tech’s aim through its involvement in the Women’s Leadership Development (WLD) component of PROMOTE is to empower Afghanistan’s most talented young women to become future leaders in government, business, and civil society. Over 5 years, 25,000 women with exceptional leadership potential and commitment to positive social change will be recruited and enrolled in the program.

Tetra Tech is conducting activities with two groups. The primary group—comprised of 18,000 educated women—focuses on advanced management and high-level leadership skills that have immediate practical application. To achieve program objectives, Tetra Tech is using a capacity building approach based on experiential learning to train Afghan women in leadership development. To effectively represent all women, participants will undertake research and make study visits to villages and rural areas to learn first-hand women’s needs, challenges, perspectives, and aspirations while further disseminating the skills they have learned.

The secondary group, which includes 7,000 women, is focusing on building skills and self-confidence while preparing participants for careers and leadership roles in their communities. These young, educated women will participate in events and activities that will broaden their outlook and view of the world as well as provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.

To ensure buy-in, Tetra Tech and the WLD team are collaborating on program activities with Afghan government agencies and membership organizations, including the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Education, Afghan Women’s Network, and Afghan Women’s Educational Center. Through these partnerships, Tetra Tech is ensuring that the WLD participant selection process and implementation of program activities are best suited to Afghanistan’s young, educated women and will have a lasting impact.

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