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AUW Graduates Promote Open, Effective Governance in Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan
24, Feb, 2017

February 24, 2017, Kabul, Afghanistan – The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partners with Asian University for Women (AUW) and the Government of Afghanistan to provide educational and professional opportunities for Afghan women.

This tripartite initiative allows talented Afghan women to earn their undergraduate degrees from AUW and complete a summer internship and post-graduate fellowship at the Afghanistan Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN).

Developing a self-sufficient and successful MCN is critical to advancing the Government of Afghanistan’s counternarcotics priorities and promoting stable governance in the region. By employing AUW graduates, the MCN also promotes gender integration in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This project, therefore, identifies needs and implements durable solutions to address technical capacity gaps at MCN, provides scholarships and fellowships for top Afghan women scholars, and supports the development of a network of young professionals in the field of counternarcotics.

The MCN Fellows apply the academic and leadership skills they developed at AUW throughout their internships and fellowships. They lead a range of projects including workplace enrichment programs on English and computing, research, and community development activities. One former MCN Fellow, Mursal Hamraz (Class of 2014), evaluated the efficacy of women’s vocational training and treatment at drug addiction rehabilitation centers, and she created a local media campaign to raise awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. Mursal went on to work in the Office of the First Lady of Afghanistan – a dream job which allows her to generate positive change for Afghan women.

In 2016, MCN Fellows met with First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani (second row, fifth from left) at the Presidential Palace in Kabul to share their ideas on how to promote gender equity within the Government of Afghanistan.