Afghanistan

Every Voice Counts Global Final Report

Every day, we see women living in fragile settings across the globe demonstrating great power and resilience. We know these women have ideas that will change their communities for the better. However, few have the opportunity to be involved in decisions that affect their lives. CARE’s Every Voice Counts (EVC) programme, which ran from 2016-2020 in Afghanistan, Burundi, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia and Sudan, aimed to change that status quo.

Despite making up half the population, women around the world are under-represented in political processes, currently holding just 24.5% of legislative seats.1 Similarly, laws that discourage women’s economic opportunities such as access to institutions, property and jobs, exist in 155 out of 173 countries.2 In fragile settings, women are often structurally excluded from community and political decision-making. In addition, the average age in fragile settings is significantly lower than in other parts of the world, so the inclusion of youth in decision-making in certain EVC countries was critical.

EVC placed collaboration and dialogue at its core, bringing together men and women, citizens and local leaders. In cooperation with CARE country offices and partners, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague Academy for Local Governance and RNW Media, we fought to shift discriminatory social norms, supported women and youth to use their voice, and trained local authorities and civil society organisations to influence and implement more inclusive governance processes. From village elders agreeing to include women in local elections to civil society organisations helping to improve laws protecting women from violence, the impact of this programme was undisputable. Read More...

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Program (GEWEP-III) Baseline Study

The Gender Equality and Women Empowerment III (GEWEP-III) project focuses on strengthening women’s right organizations and women-led CSOs. In particular, the Kabul Women’s Association (KWA) members are included in the impact group of the project. In order to best foster an enabling environment for women’s greater participation and voice, the project also targets influential groups and male members of communities, who can play an essential role in the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights. The baseline assessment focused on four main objectives, to: (1) provide detailed contextual information/ situational analysis on gender norms, power dynamic, gender-based violence, violence against women, gender equity and behavior of individual women, their male member of communities and stakeholders (religious/community leaders) in each of the target areas relating to the three outcome areas to help refine and evidence the project theory of change, log frame indicators, targets, and assumptions, (2) gather relevant data to establish baseline for project indicators to enable changes in women’s lives to be measured over the course of the project and during the final evaluation, (3) develop recommendations for the project monitoring, learning and final evaluation assessment of the project, and (4) explore the current knowledge and attitudes towards gender related issues, women empowerment and male engagement strategies. The baseline study adopted cross-sectional design using both quantitative and qualitative data. The project literature was coupled with surveying and interviewing 478 project beneficiaries and stakeholders. Read More...

MAGNIFYING INEQUALITIES AND COMPOUNDING RISKS The Impact of COVID-19 on the Health and Protection of Women and Girls on the Move

More than one year into the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—with some countries seemingly on their way out of the crisis while others enter new waves—evidence of its impact is growing. COVID-19 is increasing short-term humanitarian needs and negatively affecting longer-term outcomes for marginalized populations and people in vulnerable situations, significantly setting back hard-won development gains, magnifying inequalities, and compounding risks. Among those worst affected are the more than 80 million people worldwide—approximately half of whom are women and girls—who have been forcibly displaced by drivers such as persecution, conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations.1
The majority of forcibly displaced people live in resource-poor countries with weak public health and social protection systems, and economies that have been hard-hit by the pandemic.2 Yet, to date, there has only been limited research around the unique ways in which women and girls on the move are affected.3 This despite predictions of significant impacts on access to, and use of, basic health services—including for sexual and reproductive health (SRH)—and the overall protection environment, including increases in prevalence and risk of gender-based violence (GBV).
Placing gender at the center of its humanitarian and development responses, CARE undertook new research in Afghanistan, Ecuador, and Turkey between April and May 2021 to better understand how COVID-19 is impacting the health and protection of women and girls on the move. The three countries represent different types of forced displacement across multiple regions: internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee returnees in Afghanistan; more recent migrants and refugees due to the Venezuelan crisis in Ecuador; and longer-term Syrian refugees living under temporary international protection in Turkey. The primary data collected for this research included more than 1,000 surveys with women on the move and from host communities, to allow comparison; 31 focus group discussions (FGDs) with women and adolescent girls; and 45 key informant interviews (KIIs) with government actors, health and protection service providers, humanitarian organizations, and CARE staff. Read More...

CARE Every Voice Counts Afghanistan Endline Evaluation

In Afghanistan, the Every Voice Counts program (EVC) is focused on women and girls as primary target groups in four Provinces - Balkh, Parwan, Kabul and Khost. The program worked at community, district, and provincial levels to strengthen the capacity of women and girls to participate in decision-making. This included the formation of women's groups in the target communities, which serve as platforms for stakeholder organization and capacity building. The program advocated for the inclusion of women and girls in decision-making with community leaders and the various bodies of sub-national government. The program was aimed to achieve:
• Increase meaningful participation of women and girls in decision-making processes.
• Create and expand inclusive spaces for dialogue and negotiation at the local and national levels.
• Increase attention on the importance of the rights of women and girls.
• Enable participation in political debates and dialogues with the Afghan authorities and public.
• Improved availability, accessibility and quality of girls’ education and health services.
TAGHEER conducted an end-line evaluation of the EVC to understand the achievement or lack thereof of the program against the above listed aims. The evaluation report developed by TAGHEER will serve as an input for the global evaluation report of EVC program in 6 countries. [83 Pages] Read More...

Unconditional Cash Grant (UCG) Post Distribution Monitoring Report

In response to dire need of women headed household in Kabul whose economy was severely impacted  by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting continued lockdown, CARE Afghanistan implemented an  emergency response project. Due to the weak health system and limited capacity to deal with major disease outbreaks, communities in different part of country was significantly affected both directly from the COVID-19 and resulting socio-economic impacts. In addition to weak health system, poverty, limited job opportunity, people reliance on daily work, retailing combined with political turmoil putting pressure on the country’s capacity to effectively provide inclusive response and required coordination and response. CARE over three months’ period - officially started in 01st May ending July 31, 2020 implemented an Emergency Response Fund (ERF) project through which provided livelihood cash based response and as well as COVID-19 Health response through scale up existing health project implemented in Kabul. The health response involved provision of hygiene/antiseptic kits to the 1700 most vulnerable HHs and 150 PPE to health center; provision of un-conditional cash grant to the 525 most vulnerable women headed households of Kabul Women Association (KWA) member to help them cover Health and/or livelihoods needs during quarantine period and provision of health and hygiene awareness to the target population most vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreak. Read More...

Mapping Governance Systems in CARE Target Provinces

This report presents the findings of a governance study conducted on behalf of CARE Afghanistan. The aim of the study is to inform the formulation of CARE's governance strategy as components of CARE's recently reviewed overall country strategy. In order to develop a strategy that fits the socio-cultural context and institutional framework set in the provinces CARE operates in, CARE established the need for a structural mapping exercise of governance mechanisms, the systems of power that support and shape it, as well as the role of individual stakeholders. Whilst this report will outline in detail the methods and findings of the study, only its key findings will be transferred into the strategy paper. This serves to ensure that the strategy paper meets the limitations in space typically assigned to documents that are meant to guide senior management and implementation staff alike. Findings in this report will be presented aligned to the three dimensions of CARE's inclusive governance concept.
The study also comprised a second component that turned focus inside, and assessed the capacity of CARE's internal governance structures to accommodate the proposed governance strategy. The findings of this component will be processed in the last chapter of the report. Read More...

Social Inclusion in Fragile Contexts: Pathways Towards the Inclusion of Women in Local Governance

This exploratory research focuses on the social inclusion of women in subnational governance in Afghanistan, particularly investigating informal and semi-formal governance bodies and processes. It identifies groups, positions, mechanisms, and sectors that provide opportunities for women’s participation and influence in public decision-making. It also explores how women’s participation may be changing, and the key obstructing and enabling factors that impact that process. It then provides an assessment of promising pathways toward enhanced women’s voice in local public affairs. Finally, it concludes by offering a set of recommendations for donors, practitioners, civil society, and government. Read More...

Afghanistan COVID-19 RGA July 2020

CARE’s Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) draws from CARE’s experience in Afghanistan, and survey questionnaires with 320 people (50.3% women and 49.7% men), and key informant interview (KII) with 59 community leaders (44% women and 56% men) and 18 line representatives (50% women and 50% men) from Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Public Health across seventeen (17) districts in nine (9) provinces in Afghanistan. The RGA points to ongoing severe economic, financial, health, and security impacts that will be especially worse for women and girls. The immediate impacts at the time of this assessment, center around the loss of income, food insecurity, lack of access to basic needs, limited mobility due to government lockdown, increased gender-based violence, and insecurity. The impacts – direct and indirect – fall disproportionally on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women and girls, poor households, IDPs, female-headed households, and people with disabilities.
Gender-based inequality is extensive in the country – decades of conflict, food insecurity, and conservative patriarchal norms limit Afghan women and girl’s freedom of movement, decision-making power and access to health, education, and other basic services and resources. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating gender inequalities by restricting the limited rights women enjoy in the country and increasing their dependency. The findings from this assessment show that women are bearing the most significant burden of caring for their families; they have limited freedom of movement; face limited decision-making power at home and in the community and experience an increased level of gender-based violence. All the socio-economic and security implications of COVID-19 will severely and disproportionately impact women and girls. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that actors responding to the crises adapt their responses, strategies, and policies to ensure that they address the implications that the outbreak has for women and girls.
Read More...

CARE Gender Analysis Afghanistan July 2020

Women in Afghanistan face considerable socio-economic, political and power barriers. Gender-based inequality is extensive in the country – decades of conflict, poverty and conservative patriarchal norms limit Afghan women and girls’ freedom of movement, decision-making power and access to health, education, and other basic services and resources. The situation is more dire for women and girls in IDP settlements and contexts. Even though the current Afghan government is publicly committed to women’s rights and empowerment, women continue to face significant gender-based discrimination, bias and violence.

In line with the CARE global strategy, CARE Afghanistan considers gender equality and women empowerment as a primary mission. Promoting a life free from violence and tackling and reducing gender-based violence (GBV) are key strategies for CARE and, with this analysis, CARE Afghanistan intends to explore gender roles and responsibilities and power dynamics within internally displaced person (IDP), returnee and host communities in Herat and Badghis provinces. This research engaged 61 people in key informant and in-depth interviews from Herat and Badghis provinces including community members, community leaders, and representatives from government offices and NGOs. The findings from this analysis intend to contribute to and inform humanitarian, civil society, NGO and government authorities in their programming, policy and overall interventions in the target communities.

This research provides clear evidence that women in the target communities experience considerable levels of domestic violence, perpetrated by close relatives and have extremely low levels of awareness of and capacity to access available GBV support and referral services. 100% of female and 75% of male respondents from Badghis, and 75% of female and 89% of male respondents from Herat agreed that women, boys and girls have experienced violence in their communities. Respondents indicated that the main perpetrators of violence across the two provinces are fathers (33% in Herat, 34% in Badghis) and brothers (33% in Herat and 23% in Badghis). In Herat, 16% of respondents reported that husbands were perpetrators whereas in Badghis, mothers were the third most common perpetrator identified at 14% followed by husbands at 8%. It is clear from the results of this research that women experience violence from many more sources than men. Key informants identified poverty, culture and customs, lack of education and illiteracy, migration, unemployment, political insecurity, narcotics and the lack of information about rights and the law among the main causes of violence. Read More...

Final Project Evaluation of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) – Afghanistan

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) project aimed to support the Kabul Women Association (KWA) with the four objectives of: 1) Support Kabul Women Association (KWA) to ensure that it is a well-functioning association, 2) KWA contributes to the increased protection, prevention and response for women’s rights issues, 3) KWA is participating in decision-making processes regarding the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) 2008-19; and 4) KWA members have increased economic independence through improve financial skills and access to financial services to start income generating activities. The WPS project was implemented in two provincial districts and seven municipality districts of Kabul province.

The WPS final project evaluation had followed the below rationale and helps to draw out the following:
- This will help generate knowledge from the project and to provide assessment of the processes and achievements made and draw the lessons learnt
- To the extent possible, the relevant results of this evaluation will act as the baseline for the next phase of the project (GEWEP III)
- This evaluation particularly provides results on the two periods of the project (2015-2018 and 2018-2020)
- It provides understanding of what has worked and what has not that can guide future planning

The WPS Final Evaluation collected data on the four outcomes listed under the WPS project results framework which are listed below:
- Outcome 1: The Kabul Women’s Association (KWA) is a well-functioning association
- Outcome 2: KWA contributes to the increased protection, prevention and response for
women’s rights issues
- Outcome 3: KWA is participating in decision-making processes regarding the
implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for the Women of Afghanistan
(NAPWA) 2008-2019
- Outcome 4: KWA members have expanded their income opportunities, strengthened
their economic independence and continue to participate in women rights advocacy activities
Read More...

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