The Gender Equality Project is the collaboration between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and UNDP Afghanistan. It aims to develop effective gender mainstreaming models and strengthen the capacity of government ministries and institutions. The Project is in line with the goals set out in the ANDS for gender equity and consistent with the NAPWA and Millennium Development Goals of gender equality and empowerment of women. Development of Women’s entrepreneurship skills and capacity building of women cooperatives in 19 provinces is one of the key components of GEP II through the following objectives:
• To improve women’s economic opportunities through income-generation activities.
• To provide vocational training and non-formal education for marginalized women.
• To improve capacity of women through provision of Business Development Services to manage businesses
GEP II seeks to support women eeconomic empowerment initiatives. The focus is on women’s access to economic resources and opportunities including jobs, financial services, property and other productive assets, skills development and market information. Holistic and sustainable approaches will be implemented and gender will be integrated at each stage of the project support. Culturally sensitive methodologies will be implemented to ensure men`s participation in supporting women`s economic empowerment. It has been proven that not only income, will improve the empowerment of women; the gender inequalities need to be addressed such as ownership and decision making over the resources as well as reduced violence. In this regard the Income generating projects will link with pillar 1 and 3 of GEP II to ensure that the policy and gender justice issues are taken into consideration.
In order to strengthen the capacity and power on business development services, UNDP/GEP will provide business development services training for 47 women who already received gender and justice trainings by DoWA/UNDP/GEP-II.