Afghanistan—Promote: Women in the Economy (WIE)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2015-2020

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Afghanistan

Solutions: Economic Growth Governance

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Promote: Women in the Economy (WIE) program bolstered women’s inclusion in Afghanistan’s economy.

WIE worked across 30 Afghan provinces from its offices based in five economic zones. The program assisted businesses to improve performance, income growth, and sustainability.

WIE supported women ages 18 and above through job skills training based on market demand, and work experience placements in internships, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training activities.

Sample Activities

  • Assist women-owned, or women employing, businesses with financial and strategic planning, access to market information and financing, and commercial relationships.
  • Assist women’s businesses in product quality development, quality improvement, packaging, regulatory compliance, and participation in local and national trade venues.
  • Support women through job readiness preparation, internships, apprenticeships, and job placement.

Select Results

  • Provided 461 businesses with assistance, compared to a target of 400.
  • Assisted 50 percent of all supported businesses to increase their revenues by 338 percent on average within two years of assistance.
  • Facilitated new or better employment for 19,869 women.
  • Supported apprenticeships or internships for 10,775 women.
  • Trained 5,882 men and women in gender-sensitivity skills.
  • Supported a partner to provide e-learning training on COVID-19 testing and care to 582 health workers (of which 314 women completed a post-test to qualify to diagnose COVID-19). The partner also developed a triage phone center and app; 4,100 citizens registered their symptoms.
  • Awarded scholarships to more than 14,733 women.
  • Placed interns and apprentices in 2,524 private sector host companies across 30 provinces; more than half are working in healthcare and education—sectors critical to Afghans’ well-being.
  • Twenty-five percent of WIE-assisted businesses moved to next level of enterprise size; and of the targeted 500 businesses assisted, 63 percent, or 252 businesses, achieved 40 percent or more revenue growth within two years of assistance.


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