Supporting women’s economic empowerment in Afghanistan

Date Published: 
Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Poor economic conditions and insecurity forced Gul Afroz and her family to migrate to Iran in 2015. Being illiterate with no professional skills, she and her husband struggled to find a stable income. They had to rely on odd jobs to make a meagre living and provide food and shelter to their nine children. Their condition in Iran deteriorated over the years and they decided to return to Afghanistan in 2018.

 “In Iran, we had no access to health and education services. We couldn’t provide food and shelter to our children,” recalled Afroz.

Upon the arrival in their village in Faryab province, Afroz discovered the security situation in her village was even worse than when she left. Her family home was occupied by an armed group leaving the family of eleven homeless. Some of Afroz’s friends who had fled the village, helped her and her family to move to a small village in Balkh province. They lived in a tent for months before a humanitarian agency built a shelter for them. The parents did not have stable livelihood and relied on odd jobs to make ends meet. Afroz regained hope when she was introduced to IOM by the Community Development Committee (CDC) in her village.

She was selected her for a goat farming project and she received goats and raw material to construct a barn. The goats provide much needed nutrients for her children and she is also able to sell a portion of the milk to a local market, which has lifted her out of poverty. 

“I am very happy with the assistance. It has helped me provide food for my children and I can send them to school. The training that IOM provided me in goat farming has been very useful as I am confident that I will be able to expand my goat farming business in coming months,” exclaimed an optimistic Afroz.