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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > June
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 23, 2004


Report Shows U.S. Programs Help Afghan Women To Secure a Better Future

The Report to Congress on U.S. Support for Afghan Women, Children, and Refugees demonstrates that U.S. assistance in reconstructing Afghanistan, and the courage of the people themselves, is creating an environment that allows Afghan women to participate fully in the political, economic and social life of liberated Afghanistan. Released by the State Department on June 14 and posted on www.state.gov/g/wi, the report shows that reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan have inspired Afghan women to assume roles they never dreamed possible, in government, in politics, in the market place, in the police, in agriculture, in politics and in the media.

The reportís accompanying detailed matrix describes 187 new and ongoing projects to assist women and children. Overall U.S. humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan, apart from the cost of continuing military and related support operations, bring the total U.S. pledge for 2004 up to $2.2 billion, for a total commitment over three years to over $4 billion.

Afghanistan has achieved some remarkable political milestones during the past year to secure women's human rights, civil and social gains. The most significant is the Constitution ratified on January 4, 2004 by the Afghanistan Constitutional Loya Jirga that provides equal rights to all citizens, men and women.

Along with access to health care, Afghan women have identified access to jobs as a priority, and this is why U.S. programs stress health, education and skills training. The U.S. has rebuilt hundreds of schools and clinics throughout the country. More females returned to school this year than last year, totaling 35% of the 5.8 million students who returned to school in March 2004. Some 24 job creation projects are teaching women how to make and market honey, textiles, rugs, clothing, pasta, cement blocks and countless other products, contributing indirectly to lifetime earning potential. The U.S.-Afghan Womenís Council, a public-private partnership between foundations, NGOs, and individual contributors, also helps in practical ways to help Afghan women succeed in the economic sector.

The United States is committed to working with the people of Afghanistan to set Afghanistan firmly on the path to security, democracy and sustainable economic growth.

For further information, please contact Susan Hovanec, Office of International Women's Issues, at (202) 312-9675.

2004/707 

Released on June 23, 2004

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