Women in Afghanistan have significantly fewer economic opportunities than men. Most working women are in the informal sector, with nearly three quarters working in home-based craft industries. Afghanistan's laws and customs continue to act as barriers to women joining the formal workforce, by restricting their ability to manage property, obtain credit, establish a tax identity and get a higher education.
In 2016, the Government of Afghanistan developed a National Economic Empowerment Plan (NEEP) for Women, which will provide women with increased access to markets, capital and skills training in a bid to increase economic opportunities.
Harakat will work closely with the Government to support NEEP, while also ensuring that gender sensitive interventions are reflected in all of the organization's activities. The potential impact on women will be considered in the design stage of all Harakat programs.
Gender mapping to better understand women's current roles in the economy
Incorporating a 'gender lens' in the development of law and regulation
Ensuring that communication efforts around Women's Economic Inclusion factor in the unique ways in which women receive information in Afghanistan
Advocacy and capacity building for Afghan companies led by women;and
Cultivating gender champions in the business community.
Female unemployment in Afghanistan is 36.8 percent, compared to the national average of 22.6 percent.
Female employment in the non-agriculture sector stands at just over 10 percent in Afghanistan.
Globally, it is estimated that US$12 trillion could be added to the world economy by 2025 through greater female economic empowerment.
In the 2016 Women, Business and Law Report, which assesses legal restrictions on women's entrepreneurship and employment in 173 countries, Afghanistan is tied with Iran for the fourth largest number of relevant legal gender discrepancies.