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Afghan women's role in the household and beyond

06-03-2003

The ICRC delegation in Afghanistan, aware of the fundamental role played by Afghan women in the household and beyond, currently runs several projects actively involving women in matters pertaining to health, safety and household economics.

In Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and Jalalabad, teams of female Afghan ICRC employees visit households on a daily basis to promote hygiene awareness. These teams teach other women the basic rules of personal and environmental hygiene in order to avoid the transmission of common diseases.

Under a project started in Bamyan province in late February 2003, women receive vegetable seed and are trained to tend family plots more productively. These plots, often located in backyards, have traditionally been a woman's domain. By teaching women basic but effective techniques, the ICRC ensures that they remain key food and knowledge providers.

Throughout the country, teams of female mine-awareness trainers visit local clinics and schools with the specific aim of reaching other women. They inform these women about the dangers of mines and unexploded ordnance and teach them simple ways of passing on valuable information to their husbands and children.

Wards geared towards the physical rehabilitation of female patients are an integral part of the ICRC's six limb-fitting centres in Afghanistan. Female physiotherapists, often themselves disabled, work in these wards and attend to women's specific needs. In Kabul, the ICRC has developed a successful micro-credit project for former patients, male and female, wishing to start up their own small-scale businesses.