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March 19, 2024

Empowering Afghan Women: AWER Summit Unveils Strategies for Economic Resilience

In a groundbreaking move to empower Afghan women and girls, the Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience (AWER) Summit took center stage in Washington, D.C. on Feb 27, 2024 – a pivotal event bringing together approximately 200 participants. Launched by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the AWER, a public-private partnership with Boston University, aims to enhance Afghan women and girls’ access to education, employment, and entrepreneurship. This collaborative effort convenes stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, academia, and governments.

Amb. Roya Rahmani speaking at the AWER Summit in Washington, D.C.

Secretary Blinken inaugurated the summit, emphasizing its significance amidst challenges faced by Afghan women and girls post-Taliban resurgence in 2021. “Today represents a real ray of light in some of the darkness,” he remarked, highlighting the promise of AWER initiatives. The event featured prominent speakers, including Amb. Roya Rahmani, former Afghan Ambassador to the United States, and Muqaddesa Yourish, former Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Amb. Rahmani’s panel, “Thinking Outside the Box: Mobilizing Partnerships for the Future,” moderated by Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Amb. Geeta Rao Gupta, saw Amb. Rahmani discussing innovative ways Afghan women continue engaging in education and economic activities despite restrictions. Amb. Rahmani emphasized, “The primary challenge faced by women in the region, like the rest of the world, is access to credit, ownership and effective utilization of capital, and financial opportunities. Through collaborative programs, we can integrate Afghan women into regional initiatives that are built on the foundation of fintech advancements,” underlining the importance of financial empowerment and support for Afghan women.

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