Enhancing Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in Afghanistan (EGEMA)

 Gulsom, 24, originally from Ghor province. Before joining this women’s cooperative, she used to weave carpets to earn money but this is more profitable. Her husband’s income is not enough, so the money Gulsom earns is vital to support their children. © UNDP Afghanistan / Omer Sadaat / 2016


This Project is a collaborative effort between the Afghan Government and UNDP Afghanistan. Its main purpose is to strengthen the Ministry of Women Affairs so that it can implement, monitor and report on national and international commitments that affect women. This project will build upon the best practices and lessons learned from the previous UNDP gender projects (GEP I &II), which implemented effective initiatives and helped MOWA become a most effective and sustainable government entity.

EGEMA project is in line with National Action Plan for Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) and operates under the following three pillars: 1) Institutional capacity strengthening of MoWA, which aims to turn the ministry into an efficient body to coordinate and oversee national and international commitments impacting women; II) Women’s livelihoods strengthening, to enable improved access to sustainable incomes and livelihoods strategies for women; and III) Gender transformative approaches, to support behavioral and socio-cultural changes at the grassroots levels.


 Audience at a volleyball tournament organised by UNDP and the Afghan Red Crescent Society for young women at Kabul University - part of the global 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence. © UNDP Afghanistan / Omer Sadaat / 2016


Enhancing Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in Afghanistan (EGEMA) project provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA) to build its capacity and advance gender mainstreaming in government policy and planning process, coordinate and monitor implementation of National Action plan of Women, and take stronger role in women economic empowerment, behavioral socio-cultural changes toward gender equality, as well as creating a cadre of nationally educated gender experts that are ready to be employed in public and private sectors.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • Encouraged relevant ministries to incorporate gender equality in the local governance policy, strategic plan of the Ministry of Education and mining policy.
  • More than 30 specialists from the line ministries gained practical knowledge and skills in how to review policies from the gender perspective.  
  • Forty specialists from the 15 line ministries, including ministry of women affairs, were trained in data collection and analysis skills.
  • Completed National Action Plan for Women in Afghanistan (NAPWA) baseline study. This provides data for evidence based policy making within the government.
  • Supports the Gender Studies Institute at Kabul University to publish a quarterly academic journal on gender that will promote women’s rights among policymakers, academia and students. 
  • Twenty-two students (15 women, 7 women) will complete their master’s programme in gender and women’s studies in July 2017.
  • A road map for the Production, Demonstration and Training Center (PDTC) for women’s economic empowerment has been developed and finalized in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Women Affairs and WFP. 
  • Nearly 100 women produce, process and sell vegetables on a 20-hectare farmland in Kabul and earn a decent income. EGEMA will provide similar opportunities for 300 more women during 2017.
  • Trained 150 religious leaders (mullahs) on women’s rights and gender equality. The mullahs have been raising awareness among the public at their Friday sermons.

Expected Results

  • Ten government policies/strategies reviewed and gender components integrated
  • Ministry of women affairs has acquired the capacity to lead gender mainstreaming technically and independently
  • NAPWA database is fully functional and MOWA can produce various reports and analysis on the status of women in the country
  • Kabul University Gender Studies Institute continues to run the master’s programme in Gender and Women Studies, and professional certificate programmes in gender mainstreaming. Around 56 students will complete their master’s programme and 30 mid-career professionals will receive certificates in gender mainstreaming.  
  • 300 vulnerable women have access to livelihood opportunities to have a steady income,
  • 400 religious scholars will be trained and given action plan to advocate for and raise awareness on women rights among communities.
  • 3000 school students, attending a quiz on women rights, will get better awareness on women rights and gender equality.
  • Encourage volunteerism for raise awareness about women rights through joint Youth-Mullah CARVANS spreading gender equality messages in communities  

Who Finances it?

Donor name

Amount contributed per year in US$

Government of Republic of Korea 3.2 million
United Nations Volunteers  0.29 million

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