Microfinance training programme helps young Afghan women find jobs

Photo credit: USAID/Afghanistan

TMP – 13/10/2017

A total of 75 young Afghan women recently graduated from a USAID-organized micro-finance training programme. Implemented by the Afghanistan Microfinance Association, the nine-month internship equipped women with the technical and managerial skills needed to secure jobs in the banking and microfinance sectors.
The programme currently operates in Kabul, Herat and Balkh provinces, with trainees given placements in the First Micro-finance Bank of Afghanistan, the Afghan Rural Finance Company, the Foundation for International Community Assistance Afghanistan and OXUS Afghanistan. To date, eleven of the trainees have been offered full-time jobs in the organizations where they interned.
“An important step towards improving access to finance for women-owned businesses and self-employed women is increasing the number of women in mid- and senior-level positions in banking and microfinance,” said Susan DeCamp, Director of USAID’s Gender Office.
“Increasing the number of women in the financial sector, particularly in decision-making and lending roles, will make it easier for women to obtain financial services.”
Following the success of the preliminary training programme, the Afghanistan Microfinance Association and Women In the Economy have already begun preparing a second round of trainee placements. Financial institutions such as Mutahid, Exchanger Zone and Hand in Hand have now also committed to the project and have agreed to accept female trainees.
“In addition to increasing the number of women employees in the financial sector, the programme provides opportunities to our members to hire trained and dedicated women employees, which will help them to provide better financial services to women entrepreneurs,” said Najibullah Samim, Executive Director of the Afghanistan Microfinance Association.