The Women's Development and Community Centers' initiative mobilizes women to secure their rights and seek sustainable livelihoods at the provincial and community levels. Currently, there are eleven fully functional Centers with accomplishments including:
- Providing trainings and services that have reached 5,685 women and girls, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to over twelve thousand since the first center opened.
- Expanding livelihood options for women through business skills development training, training in production for the market, micro-credit initiatives and market linkages facilitated by the Afghan Women's Business Council.
- Raising understanding among women of human rights and key national processes of nation-building, reform and reconstruction through civic education outreach to women, and legal awareness projects run by professional women's groups.
- Increasing access to legal aid and counseling through the services of professional associations of women's lawyers as well as access to psychosocial counseling.
- Strengthening independent management structure of centers.
UNIFEM's goals for the future include enhancing the management skills of the centers' leadership and stakeholders, building capacity for more training and service provision, facilitating a support network among the provincial and community centers, and promoting their overall visibility. Despite the constraints of the current security situation, UNIFEM continues to pursue expansion possibilities. While the centers have made much progress, there remains a great need for ongoing support to ensure that these young institutions can take root and grow.
|"We profoundly appreciate UNIFEM''s very valuable support to the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the women of Afghanistan.
- Habiba Sarabi, Minister of Women's Affairs until Dec. 2004