Kabul, Afghanistan, 26 February 2019 – Kabul University held convocation ceremony for the 3rd cohort of its Master’s Programme in Gender and Women Studies.
The third cohort consisted of 33 students (19 female, 14 male) started their Master’s Programme in 2018. After pursuing two years of the intensive programme through 16 courses, the students are now able to recognise structural inequality, gender and power dynamics in society. This is a pioneer programme in the field of gender and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan, intended to enable the graduates bridge gaps between theory and practice in the society. The programme aims at building a national human resource pool of gender experts.
“One of the main goals of this programme is to highlight the social role of women and men, and to bring a positive change in the Afghan society which will help in the development of different sectors.” says Tafseera Hashemi, Deputy of Students Affairs of Kabul University.
Since its establishment in 2015, a total of 83 students (56 female, 27 male) have been graduated from this programme, over 70% of whom are currently employed as gender experts with Government, Civil Society Organizations, Academia, International Organizations and Private Sector. This programme has been supported by UNDP’s Enhancing Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in Afghanistan (EGEMA) project and funded by the Republic of Korea.
“This programme does not only fulfils my wish of becoming a gender expert but it also makes me feel good when I use my expertise to help women in Afghanistan” - Fatima Zaki, a graduate of 2nd Cohort of the programme.
Future plans for the Master’s programme in Gender Equality and Women studies could include expanding the programme to take on more students, increasing geographical coverage, as well as improving the curriculum and educational resources and inviting more guest lecturers.
Afghanistan’s first-ever Master’s programme on Gender and Women Studies is an example of how UNDP works with the government, and the civil society partners to bring about gender mainstreaming and strengthen the position of women, as part of their support to the Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality (SDG 5).
This work is part of UNDP’s Enhancing Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in Afghanistan (EGEMA) project and is supported by the Republic of Korea. The project focuses on improving policies, boosting economic empowerment and ensuring access to justice and human rights.