Our work in Afghanistan
Few places on Earth are more difficult for women than Afghanistan. The country ranks 152 out of 155 on the UN Gender Equality Index, a place where only 16 percent of women work outside the home and even fewer, 6 percent, have been to secondary school.
Only one place, Syria, pushes more refugees into Europe. In a recent Asia Foundation survey, 74 percent of respondents who said they would leave Afghanistan cited insecurity as their main reason. Fifty-two percent cited unemployment, a daily fact of life for four in 10 Afghans.
The link between jobs and women’s empowerment is both proven and implicit. So too is the link between unemployment, insecurity and mass emigration. For as long as Afghanistan’s most damaging problems persist, self-employment will be part of the solution. And Hand in Hand will be there to help.
By the numbers
Members trained: 36,507
Our Self-Help Group members save together, train together and start businesses together
Businesses started: 26,880
Hand in Hand Afghanistan entrepreneurs prepare food, rear cattle, weave carpets and more
Jobs created: 31,536
Jobs equal development. Our entrepreneurs make their own success, breaking the cycle of dependency
Lives improved: 198,374
Every business we help create in Afghanistan benefits an average of seven family members – young, old and everywhere in between
Your donation at work
Drag the scrollbar to see how you can make an impact in Afghanistan
We were invited into the country in 2007 by then-President Hamid Karzai. Since then we’ve learned a great deal about the role of jobs in vulnerable post-conflict states
36% of people live below the national poverty line
72% of children under the age of 5 suffer from nutritional deficiencies
93% of rural women are illiterate
84% of women don’t work
Hand in Hand Afghanistan has operated in 11 provinces, with plans to expand into two more. We intervene in districts that lack similar programs but benefit from relative security and support from local authorities.
Abdul Nasry joined Hand in Hand Afghanistan in 2012 after managing the Afghan government’s National Skills Development Program, where he helped shape government policy on job creation.