Women’s Empowerment and Education Centre, Kabul
Project established: 2011
Over three decades of war and civil conflict have made it difficult for any young Afghan man or woman to obtain post-secondary education. However young women face a particular set of obstacles. Most still need to overcome educational disadvantage as well as significant financial and cultural barriers to access higher education and to graduate successfully.
Since 2011 indigo foundation has supported the Women’s Empowerment Centre (WEC) at Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) in Kabul. WEC builds a supportive environment and provides opportunities to help young Afghan women complete a quality education in law, political science and economics. GIHE was established in 2010 by Dr Sima Samar, Nobel Prize nominee and head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights commission.
indigo foundation’s financial support has helped WEC increase the number of female students through establishment of a scholarship program to support the tuition fees of the many disadvantaged female students with potential wishing to enter GIHE. Many come from sole parent families or from families where boys’ education is prioritised.
Capacity building programs supported by indigo foundation have played a considerable role in promoting female students’ participation in academic life at GIHE. The success of the Centre’s gender training initiatives has secured German government funding for a Gender Studies Department within GIHE and a Peace Building Department has developed from training and workshops around Women, Peace and Conflict.
indigo foundation was able to offer timely support and confidence in the Women’s Empowerment Centre at an early stage of its development. Now with financial support from other organizations as well as indigo foundation the scholarship program has enabled 187 young women to access quality higher education. 25 young women graduated in January 2015 and 162 are continuing their studies on tuition scholarships. Many more await the same opportunity.