UN Women – United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

UN Women – United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Asia and the Pacific

UN Women Afghanistan

Today, more than 57 per cent of the population lives within a one-hour walk of a health facility, enabling many Afghans to seek medical attention. Since 2003, the number of trained midwives present at birth has more than tripled, reducing maternal mortality rates from 1,600 deaths for every 100,000 live births in 2002 to 396 in 2015. The fertility rate has also reduced dramatically, sitting at 5.1, a rate that drops even further to 2.8 for women with higher levels of education. The cost of accessing healthcare, however, is a huge burden for many Afghan families, and out of reach for many others, which has a close relationship with the neglect of women’s access to health.

Afghanistan is one of the youngest countries in the world, with 63 per ccent of its population aged under 24 and 400,000 new workers estimated to be entering the workforce every year for the next decade. More than 8 million students are enrolled in school, including more than 2.5 million girls, however, the regular targeting of girls attending the school, continued stigma against girls’ education, and increasing influence of violent extremism is posing increased challenges.

For the current planning cycle of 2013-2017, significant transitional events will occur within the political and security arenas that could negatively impact women if interventions are not made to ensure their active participation. Ensuring women’s participation in elections, peace negotiations, and overall engagement in governance and government at national and subnational levels will help preserve gains made to date and create resiliency in those institutions responsible for Afghanistan’s gender agenda. Read more



Over the course of four-days, 80 women from every province in Afghanistan will come together to brainstorm and build solutions to the ongoing obstacles that prevent women from engaging in public dialogue about peace from the local to national level, such as lack of technology, literacy, and access to resources. In doing so, the Hackathon will: (1) empower women to rapidly learn, test new skills, and gain valuable experiences; (2) build networks of women to share key industry insights regarding the means that best suit them to express their views; (3) create pipelines that equip women with opportunities and mentors so they can put their ideas into practices; and (4) generate solutions that bring together the voices of women who are not always in the spotlight.



Once is more than enough #MyRedLine

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In no other time since I was born, has peace ever been so close. And in no other time have I felt the urge to take part in shaping the future of a country that knew only war for as long as I know myself, the country I call home - Afghanistan.

I am Farahnaz Forotan. I am a journalist. #MyRedLine is my pen and my freedom of expression. What’s yours? more


#MyRedLine – A social movement cataloguing where Afghan’s stand on women’s rights and peace

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Afghanistan has demonstrated significant progress in equal access to women and men to participate in all parts of Afghan society from education to the police, from media to medicine. #MyRedLine, a campaign by Farahnaz Forotan, supported by UN Women Afghanistan, is an expression by Afghan citizens of the human rights and women’s human rights, which they will not give up and, which, they as citizens, will not negotiate. The campaign is built on a series of testimonies where people voice the lines they are not willing to cross, be it the right to work, to drive, to marry whom they chose, to walk in the streets, to go to school, to stand to be President of the nation – their ‘red line’... more

Palwasha Hassan delivers remarks during the UN Women-supported “Gender and Media in Elections Workshop”, held in Kabul from 22-24 September 2018. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

In the words of Palwasha Hassan: “The time is now to transform that suffering into our strength”

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Palwasha Hassan is a mobilizer who fought for the rights of women to be enshrined in Afghanistan’s 2004 Constitution. She is an advisor at the country’s High Peace Council (which is tasked with negotiating with elements of the Taliban), and also the Executive Director of the Afghan Women’s Educational Centre (AWEC). She has been a political and women’s rights activist since her early youth, volunteering with a women’s movement in 1995... more

Halima Askari. Photo: UN Women/Zahra Khudadadi

In the words of Halima Askari: “Our victory is our unity”

Monday, November 12, 2018

Halima Askari became the first woman head of the Provincial Council in Afghanistan’s conservative Wardak province in 2017. She is part of a new generation of women leaders who, little by little, are pushing for the transformation of governance. She ran for national Parliament this year and is awaiting the results. Regardless of the election results, Askari is determined to continue serving her community... more

The Women's Protection Centre teaches women like Tabasum Bahar how to create beautiful works of art such as elegant clothes and embroidered scarves that guarantee income . Photo: UN Women/Zahra Khudadadi

#HearMeToo: Afghan women, the faces of change

Monday, November 12, 2018

“I feel so proud of my work. So proud of being part of a movement that helps women like me who have survived violence,” says Tabasum Bahar*, eyes flashing with the conviction forged by surviving a painful past. “The women I train want to be independent. We don’t... more

Justice Anisa Rasooli. Photo: UN Women/Ishaq Ali Anis

In the words of Justice Anisa Rasooli: “Not all women in Afghanistan are women in blue burqas begging…we can be the best engineers, doctors, judges, teachers”

Monday, November 12, 2018

Justice Anisa Rasooli was recently appointed as the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. She has been a powerful advocate for bringing more women into judicial positions, including as a leader of the Afghan Women Judges Association, an organization supported by UN Women. Serving for 23 years in the judicial system, Justice Rasooli can remember when stigma against going to a judicial institution was so great... more

A group photo of all the participants of the exposure visit. Photo: UN Women/Shahzeb Baig

Provincial officials visit the one-stop survivors’ centre to study ways to stop violence against women

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ten senior provincial Government officials have gained new ideas about how to stop violence against women and girls after visiting a centre helping female survivors of all forms of violence. UN Women arranged the exposure visit to promote the sharing of lessons and experiences in efforts to end the violence. The officials from Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab Provinces visited the Violence against Women Centre... more

Nabila Musleh, Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

In the words of Nabila Musleh: “Women and men must benefit equally from government funding, instead of one benefitting at the cost of the other”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Nabila Musleh, Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs, has worked to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights in Afghanistan for more than 10 years. From 11-16 August, Ms. Musleh joined 32 other senior government officials for a visit to Indonesia to learn about their gender-responsive budgeting experience. Indonesia has successfully championed... more