Afghanistan

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At A Glance

Indices and Rankings
Gender Inequality index2 0.797
HDI rank3 #155
Political Participation
Women in Parliament ranking #31/133
Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 28%/28%
Women at ministerial level ranking #76/133
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1963/1963

Read more

Overview
GovernmentIslamic Republic
Total population29.8 million
GDP per capita (PPP) $1,000 (#212)
HDI rank3155
Population under age 1542.3%
Urban population23%
Internet users3%
LanguagesAfghan Persan or Dari (offiical) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages 4%, much bilingualism

Indices Education & Employment Political Participation
Sources (March 2011): Inter-Parliamentary Union, MDG Info 2010, Quota Project, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNICEF ChildInfo , UNICEF State of the World's Children 2011, United Nations Development Project Human Development Reports, World Economic Forum, World Health Organization Global Health Observatory Database. 1.The World Economic Forum's Gender Gap index assesses how well countries divide resources and opportunities amongs male and female populations in four areas: economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment), educational attainment (access to basic and higher level education), health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio), and political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures). 2. The UNDP's Gender Inequality Index is designed to reveal the extent to which national human development achievements are eroded by gender inequality. It is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health (maternal mortality ratio and adolescent fertility rate), empowerment (share of parliamentary seats, and secondary and higher education attainment levels) and the labour market (women's participation in the work force). It varies between zero (when women and men fare equally) and one (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions). 3. The UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: health, knowledge, and income. It was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. 4. Vulnerable employment is a Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 1B indicator; vulnerable employments are lower productivity and informal activities such as own-account workers and unpaid family workers. They are therefore more likely to lack benefi ts associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and recourse to effective mechanisms for social dialogue. Vulnerable employment is often characterized by inadequate earnings, low productivity and substandard working conditions that undermine fundamental labour rights.
Gender Gap Ranking1 -- Adult literacy rate, females as a % of males 29% Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 28%/28%
Gender Inequality Index2 0.797 Population with secondary education, female/male ratio 78% Women in Parliament ranking #31/133
Vulnerable employment for women (men)4 -- Women at ministerial level ranking #76/133
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1964 (revoked 1996-2001)/1964 (revoked 1996-2001)
HealthQuotas
Lifetime risk in maternal death, 1 in 11 Quota type Reserved seats
Births per woman 6.6 Constitutional quota in lower house Yes
Births per 1000 women aged 15-19 121 Electoral quota in lower house Yes
Voluntary political party quotas No

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Our Partner

Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) is a women-led non-governmental organization (NGO) that uses a creative, responsive, and dedicated approach to meet the health and education needs of Afghan women, children, and communities. AIL trains and works with health and education professionals and organizations. AIL’s programs include teacher training; health professional training and health education; leadership and human rights training; and supporting home schools, community based organizations, women’s learning centers, and a pre-school education program. Read More >

Reports & Updates
December 15, 2012 | Afghanistan
The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), founded in 1995 by Professor Sakena Yacoobi, works to increase access to education and health services for women and children. AIL is founded on the belief that educated people are the key to a prosperous, developed Afghanistan. 
November 17, 2010 | Afghanistan, Asia, Human Rights, Rights & Reservations: Realizing CEDAW
Afghanistan ratified CEDAW in 2003. With that decision, a variety of laws and institutions have been put into place to help ensure that women's basic human rights are protected and promoted. While the continued instability, violence, as well as cultural and religious traditions of Afghan society, pose significant challenges, there is a growing recognition and acceptance of women's basic human rights and the ratification of CEDAW has greatly helped in this area.
May 9, 2008 | Afghanistan, ICT for Social Change
AIL held a training for both men and women in which the age gap between the youngest and the eldest was forty years. Such mixed and intergenerational trainings are rare in the western provinces. The participants included about twenty students and government officials from the Ministries of Education, Women’s Affairs, Public Health, and the Economy at the WLP/AIL Center for ICT training in Herat.
May 5, 2008 | Afghanistan, Leading To Choices, Leadership
During the evaluation workshop, participants commented that even though a year had passed since they took part in the training, they remembered everything they had learned because the training had a profound and lasting impact on their lives. One woman described how the Leading to Choices curriculum gave her the courage to convince her uncle to send his daughter to school.
April 28, 2008 | Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, ICT for Social Change, Making IT Our Own, Organizational Capacity Building, Young & Emerging Leaders
Making IT Our Own takes an assemble-your-own approach to ICT trainings by providing the necessary components—guidelines for participatory facilitation, step-by-step 'how tos' for each technology tool, learning resources on CD, and an assortment of pre-assembled agendas—so that trainers can customize and deliver effective technology trainings of their own suited to their communities. The manual uses scenarios to contextualize learning in everyday life and explore issues related to gender and technology.
March 21, 2007 | Afghanistan, Iran, ICT for Social Change, Leading To Choices, Leadership
From January-March 2004, four leading Afghan and Iranian participants worked together over a ten-week period to develop, test and adapt the curriculum for the Persian eCourse. Course sessions focused on four primary areas of leadership learning: exploring the concept of participatory leadership and the ethics of good leadership, examining personal leadership skills, developing a personal vision statement, and formulating a shared vision statement.
June 19, 2006 | Afghanistan, Human Rights Alerts
This week, while the bombings went on, WLP's partner AIL continued to conduct our joint leadership training workshops as well as their classes for children. In telephone conversations with them today, they spoke of the desperate need for food, medical supplies, and clothing by people throughout the camps including AIL staff and participants who are suddenly faced with caring for newly-arrived family members and compatriots.
March 6, 2006 | Afghanistan, eNews 8, ICT for Social Change, Making IT Our Own
The sound of clicking keyboards filled the room as more than 20 women and men worked intently in a tiny packed computer lab in Kabul. The class was part of an eight-day Information Technology Training Institute entitled "Information Technology Training for Women's Empowerment and Capacity-Building," organized and implemented by the Women's Learning Partnership (WLP), in cooperation with the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), May 18-25, 2004 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Profile

Sima Samar

Chairperson / Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC)
Nationality:  Afghanistan
Profession:  Activist, Administrator, Physician
Languages Spoken:  Dari
Area(s) of Expertise:  Health & Population, Women's Human Rights
Country/Region of Expertise:  Afghanistan, Central Asia

Sima Samar, an educator, health care provider, and women’s rights advocate, is Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). She was the first Deputy Chair and Minister of Women’s Affairs in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan and served as Vice Chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga.

S:SSO to Sakai