Mainstreaming Gender on the Governmental Level

Afghan women aiming to start a helicopter. The Constitution of Afghanistan states “All citizens of Afghanistan, men and women, have equal rights and duties before law.” But achieving gender equality across the country remains an enormous challenge. The GIZ Gender Mainstreaming Project supports the Afghan Government in assisting the ministries to realise equality between women and men. Gender units support selected Ministries at the policy level while training courses increase gender awareness and gender expertise of Afghan government officials. Trainings for female civil servants build their capacity to remain in government positions following completion of the administrative reform process.


Promoting Basic Education

The Government of Afghanistan has introduced educational reforms and increased the opportunities to attend school. However, only half of Afghan children pass the 9th grade and the quality of schools still remains very low. The tremendously increasing numbers of students represent an enormous challenge. The GIZ program provides advisory services and capacity development for the education sector, supports the improvement of teacher training, and promotes girls’ education as well as the implementation of poverty-oriented promotion strategies for the National Education Strategic Plan. Consequently, the proportion of female students enrolled in the teacher training program in the Northern provinces has increased from 5 per cent in 2005 to more than 28 per cent in 2008.

Supporting female community development councils

Community development councils (shuras) have been established all over Afghanistan for furthering community mobilization and elaborating bottom up development initiatives. Ideally the shuras consist of five male and five female members. However, in most cases, women formally belong to the shura but practically lack acceptance, skills and experience to actively participate.
The GIZ Gender Mainstreaming Project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) initiated a project to increase the leadership and management capacities of women shura members in Badakhshan province.

Afghan women taking part in a community council meeting.

During a long-term training program with local trainers, the women enhanced their technical and soft skills. Liaising with male shura members, local authorities and imams helped achieve political support. Networking with government institutions and local organizations allowed the women shuras to submit their development project proposals directly to the relevant bodies, to gain experience outside their community and to get a better understanding of the political system. Thus women were enabled to contribute to the political development and influence societal action to the equal benefit of women and men.
This project was one of the top ten award winning teams of the 2012 GIZ Gender Competition.

For further information about any of the projects mentioned here, please write to us at