Getting it right

London/Brussels, October 2014 - Women’s rights and gender inequity was a key justification for the international intervention in Afghanistan in 2001.  Consequently millions of pounds have been spent in Afghanistan on programmes to raise the voice of Afghan women, to improve their education levels, to support their return to employment, to increase their political and social participation.  But how successful have these programmes been ? A new report of the network BAAG, with cooperation of ENNA, is a roadmap to practitioners as well as the donor community on the importance of effective gender programming.

In March 2014 there was a 2 day conference in London : Getting it Right: Gender Programmes in Afghanistan.  Four visiting Afghan gender specialists participated in working groups and panel discussions with various international development experts and academics.  ENNA participated and chaired two of the discussions.

Together we explored various aspects of gender programming, including the role of the media, the need to involve men and boys and the challenges of respecting Islamic values.  Our report Getting it Right also includes the findings of earlier gender-focused discussions and events in 2013. 

Belquis Ahmadi, one of the four Afghan gender experts at the conference :

“No one wants to see the gains that Afghan civil society, including women’s rights groups, has made over the past 10 years to be in vain. To protect those gains, the international community must commit to continued funding for programs that promote gender equality and civil society – in all aspects and phases of the country’s rebuilding efforts.”

Gender programming is complex, and many programmes have suffered from an over-simplified approach, or insufficient contextualisation for the needs of local women and their communities.  The recommendations generated in our discussions are supplemented by BAAGs suggestions for further research and analysis.


Read the full report : 

pdfGetting it Right 2014 FINAL.pdf