Ambassador's Small Grants Program to Support Gender Equality

In Afghanistan, women and girls face significant barriers to education and meaningful participation in political, economic and social development. Although conditions for women and girls have improved since the fall for the Taliban in 2001, illiteracy rates are still more than 80 percent and many women and girls experience gender-based violence.

The U.S. Ambassador’s Small Grants Program to Support Gender Equality in Afghanistan worked to improve the status and quality of life of Afghan women and girls. Through more than $16 million in small grants to more than 1,000 Afghan organizations, the program reached more than 400,000 Afghan women and girls.

Through small grants, the USAID-funded project provided institutional capacity development and advocacy support to women-focused Afghan civil society organizations. The program worked closely with the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Afghan civil society organizations in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan and supported the ministry in pursuing the goals of the National Action Plan for Women in Afghanistan.

Through the program, 887 Afghan organizations focused on the social, economic, and political development and rights of women and girls received tailored technical assistance and capacity-building support. The program helped 311 new organizations register with the government of Afghanistan.

The program established the Afghan Women’s Advocacy Coalition comprised of civil society organizations and individuals. The coalition led nationwide campaigns to improve women’s access to education, enhance women’s political participation and improve women’s access to justice

Its media campaign called “Justice for All” promoted the elimination of violence against women. The coalition also circulated a letter to all 34 provinces formalizing their support for women’s rights and the prevention of gender-based violence with over half of the Governors of the provinces signing on their support.

Through program support and the activities of partners, women nationwide were empowered to achieve positive change within their families and communities.


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The U.S. Ambassador’s Small Grants Program to Support Gender Equality in Afghanistan held a Capstone Event on November 20 and 21 to highlight two successful years of program implementation. Learn More...


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