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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-27-02

USAID Provides for Reconstruction of Afghan Womenís Ministry Building

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) made two grants last week totaling $64,000 to the Afghan Ministry of Womenís Affairs. These grants will be used to reconstruct the ministryís building complex, the former site of the Afghan Womenís Institute in Kabul. The auditorium building in the complex was burned during Taliban rule in Kabul, and the roof has collapsed. Rubble is throughout the complex. The USAID grants will help the ministry to renovate the complex, create offices, and establish programs.

The USAID grants are the first received by the Afghan Ministry of Womenís Affairs. The ministry, however, is in desperate need of funding, as it is the only ministry in the Afghan interim government without pre-existing resources. The Feminist Majority is calling for increased funding for the womenís ministry. Significant immediate funding is crucial if the ministry is to succeed in combating the effects of gender apartheid implemented by the Taliban and helping the women and girls of Afghanistan regain their rights and participate fully in the rebuilding of the country.

Last week, USAID also awarded $13,000 to Ariana, a national Afghan womenís nongovernmental organization (NGO) that provides educational training to women and girls. The Feminist Majority has been calling on U.S. agencies to provide money directly to Afghan womenís NGOs as a means of ensuring education and healthcare services for women and girls. Founded in 1993, Ariana was shut down by the Talibanís Police for the Prevention of Vice and the Protection of Virtue by 1997. The organization continued to provide services, however, and will hold a graduation ceremony for women who attended its clandestine schools during the Talibanís reign. Dr. Sima Samar, Minister of Womenís Affairs, will award the graduates with certificates on International Womenís Day, March 8. Samar will also host an International Womenís Day Conference held in Kabul.

The Feminist Majority has been calling for immediate U.S. support for the Afghan Ministry of Womenís Affairs and for Afghan women-led NGOs. Join the Feminist Majorityís Campaign to Help Afghan Women and Girls. Visit www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.

TAKE ACTION: Urge U.S. Support for the Afghan Ministry of Womenís Affairs

Media Resources: USAID Press Release, 2/18/02; Feminist Majority


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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