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Women and girls in Afghanistan

August 15, 2012

Improving the lives of women and girls around the world is a top priority for Australia. It is an important feature of our aid programme and we advocate for it strongly.

Afghanistan is a great example of where our aid is making a real difference. Though Afghanistan still remains one of the worst countries in the world to be born female, our assistance is helping to make progress.

On July 9, Australia announced a commitment of $17.7 million to tackle violence against women. This will focus on measures to prevent violence and will also provide health, education and legal services to women and girls affected by violence.

In Uruzgan province, one of the poorest areas in Afghanistan, Australia has helped:

• construct 227 schools, including 39 girls’ schools;
• 320 girls to engage in community education;
• 500 women to participate in literacy groups; and
• 80 per cent of women in Uruzgan to receive at least one antenatal visit

AusAID is working with Save the Children to train midwives in Uruzgan. 44 female health workers have been recruited and 25 women have enrolled in the new midwifery school.

We have also trained 30 female master teacher trainers who are training a new generation of Afghan women teachers. These teachers will be vital role models and mentors for girls.

Under the Taliban, there were virtually no girls in school in Afghanistan. Today there are more than 2.5 million.

We are also seeing increased female representation in Parliament. Currently 28 percent of Parliamentarians are women.

Australia is a major contributor to Afghan aid, with more than $250 million committed per year from 2015-16 as part of a global commitment of $16 billion over the next four years.

One Comment
  1. August 15, 2012 4:34 pm

    these are such crucial initiatives. Bob, could the Australian government setting a much higher priority for these sorts of activities? For instance, what if we were to put some of the 1.5 billion we spend on the Baby Bonus into initiatives such as these and limit the baby bonus to say 2 children? Would that be something the government might consider?

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