The Women's Economic Participation Report

Following the events in South Africa today, Mandela once again reminds us all what is possible with vision, strength and most of all perseverance. For those of us who are lucky enough to live in privileged and safe communities, it is his standard that reminds us to be generous, tolerant and to look beyond ourselves. To the many less fortunate who live much harder lives, it is his example of what is possible despite the odds that inspires them.

Yesterday in Kabul, Afghanistan the Women's Economic Participation Report was launched. The report paints a promising picture for Afghan women, although huge challenges remain. Over half of the women surveyed have joined the workforce in the past five years, and over 96 percent have the support of their families. Family support is one of the key factors to success for these women, along with access to higher education, exposure to regional and international experiences and proper education and training. The women identified corruption, access to financing and security problems as their biggest challenges. Overall, the women surveyed were generally positive about the success and growth potential of their businesses. To read more go to:

Even a decade after the fall of the Taliban it is still a new beginning for many Afghan women. We all need to support them in the years to come and ensure that they too can go on to inspire others and build a better society for themselves and their families.

Hedvig Christine Alexander
Hedvig Christine Alexander


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