UN Women Engagement in Afghanistan

UN Women (previously UNIFEM) has been working in Afghanistan since 2002, and has supported the development, monitoring and implementation of policies that both protect and promote the rights of women. These include, but are not limited to, the development of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA), the adoption of a quota in the national Constitution; laws and policies to combat violence against women and girls at the national and local level; and mainstreaming gender in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).

UN Women was created in 2010 to address challenges the UN was facing in its efforts to promote gender equality globally, including inadequate funding and no single recognized driver to direct UN activities on gender equality issues. UN Women has the role to be a dynamic and strong champion for women and girls, providing them with a powerful voice at the global, regional and local levels. To be able to fulfill this role UN Women in Afghanistan has been repositioning itself and restructuring the office to support a stronger results-based programmatic approach and promote national execution. As a result, the ACO now has three programmatic Pillars (EVAW, Political and Economic Empowerment, and Coordination and Advocacy) through which resources are channelled in a pooled fund approach. Each Pillar is managed by a national Manager and Deputy Manager, with international staff only to provide specialised technical support.  Projects are implemented by NGOs selected through a competitive process. This strengthens the sustainability and cost effectiveness of UN Women’s projects.

UN Women is also scaling up its work as a key gender advocate within the UN Country Team and the overall international community, to ensure that opportunities are not lost to engender the institutions, process and plans of the country, as well as to raise issues for those women and communities that still do not have a voice.