Gender Equality Project (GEP II) Second Quarter Progress Report 2013
Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Project II (GEP II) is a three‐year project implemented by United Nations Development Programme from 2013 ‐ 2015. This report covers achievements in the second quarter, from April ‐ June 2014.
In the previous reporting period, the project had a slow start while waiting for the approval of the Annual Work Plan. During this quarter, GEP II faced disruptions due to restrictions imposed during the first and second round of elections. Despite these challenges GEP II managed to catch up with its targets and much has been achieved in a span of three months from April to June.
GEP II also continues to support MoWA’s advocacy efforts on women’s empowerment and gender equality. Foremost of which is the support given to MoWA for a TV spot message on the occasion of Mother’s Day, which also coincided with Afghanistan’s run‐off presidential election. In her brief message, the Minister of Women’s Affairs congratulated all mothers and encouraged women to participate in the elections. The TV spot was aired on prime time in three major television stations and reaching over a million viewers. Although the 38% women’s participation in the election may not be directly attributed the project alone, still, it was timely and reassuring for all the women who had a chance to view this message.
Women’s participation in election is a vote for peace and GEP II also supports women’s participation in peace dialogues. Towards this objective, the project supported the awards ceremony for the 2013 Afghan N‐PEACE awardee in collaboration with UNDP’s Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme. During this occasion, UNDP received a signature campaign for peace by 250,000 Afghan women and girls.
In a nutshell, April to June 2014 was a very productive quarter for the project. The Annual Work Plan was approved on the last day of April and yet in a short span of two months. Challenges remain such as partner NGOs’ heavy reliance on timely release of funding to be able to deliver activities such as assessments of provincial women’s development councils and legal help centers, trainings on business development service, cooperative management, gender responsive budgeting. The project mitigates this issue by coordinating closely with its partners in adjusting timelines. Meanwhile, the project also continues to engage top‐level management in MoWA to ensure continuity of activities should there be a change in leadership resulting from the Presidential elections. While this is a recognized risk, thus far, there is stability in MoWA leadership and GEP II continues to enjoy MoWA’s confidence and support.