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Afghanistan: Letting women take a part in economic life

21 Dec 2012 Child Protection SystemsAfghanistan


In Afghanistan, it’s the men who do the jobs. From salaried posts down to household tasks, tradition does not grant the women any priority. Nevertheless, women represent half the inhabitants of the country and their contribution would be an undeniable asset to the development of Afghanistan, especially in remote areas. Terre des hommes wanted to bring women together so they could earn something to help their husbands feed their families and care for their children.

Preserves, tomato paste, vegetable salads are recipes well known in most parts of the world. But in some remote regions, the available resources are not always utilised to the full. 790 women, volunteers and inhabitants of the 20 villages around Rustaq, were told about these recipes and also taught about growing various vegetables, preserving and sterilising them. 14 varieties of seeds as well as material for preservation (jars, lids and tin-openers) were handed over to them so they could themselves cultivate their own garden plots. Today they can not only participate in the economic life of their families, but also sell their vegetables at the market. And in anticipation of the winter, they learnt how to spin wool, so widespread in that region, for making warm clothes for their children or even to sell.

The goal today for many of these women is to open a little shop with which to increase their income. Some of them have even set up a cooperative, managed exclusively by women. Thanks to such commitment, and supported by Tdh, they can help one another and best serve their own and their families’ economic interests.

Mrs Sadria, who lives alone with her five children, understands the importance of such projects and this sort of cooperative: “My husband works in Iran, so I don’t have any land. Happily, one of my neighbours has lent me a plot of his land so I can grow my vegetables. Nowadays I cook a lot, and I’ve already earned 2000 afghanis [CHF 35.-] and I’m so relieved, because if one of my children falls ill, I can now take him to a health centre. I just want to say to our government: don’t forget the women, you can – and we can – help us to leave poverty behind us.”

Read more on Tdh’s work in Afghanistan



Children have a right to healthcare.
Terre des hommes helps hundreds of thousands of children and their mothers to benefit from their right to healthcare, food and hygiene in a sustainable manner and within their communities.
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