UN Development Fund for Women to assist Afghanistan under new agreement

UN Development Fund for Women to assist Afghanistan under new agreement

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Aiming to correct longstanding gender discrimination in Afghanistan, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) will provide the country's Ministry for Women's Affairs with some $1.4 million under a new capacity-building agreement signed today in New York.

The agreement sets in motion the support mechanisms that UNIFEM will provide to the Ministry in its mission to restore the rights of Afghan women and girls while improving their legal, economic, political and social status. The money will be used to strengthen the Ministry's outreach, delivery of services and capacity to build constituencies among women, women's groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Afghanistan's provinces.

The agreement was signed by Habiba Sarobi, a pharmacist and well-known human rights activist who was recently named Afghanistan's Minister of Women's Affairs.

Two weeks ago, Minister Sarobi visited a UNIFEM-supported women's centre in Kandahar, one of four the agency is helping to fund. Each centre will provide a range of services for women, such as literacy programmes, maternal health services, psychosocial counselling and vocational skills training.