Empowering Women: Ministry of Women’s Affairs Meets Indonesian Counterpart

A five-day workshop that brought together members of the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) and the Indonesian Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (MoWECP) ended today. It was the first of a series of three workshops that will reinforce cooperation between the two ministries. The two delegations discussed best practice examples of women’s economic empowerment in Indonesia. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s Open Policy Advisory Fund (OPAF) has supported the cooperation between Indonesian and Afghan institutions since 2018.

The MoWA’s Director of Administration Development and Examination of Legal Affairs, Ms Gulrukh Badakhshi, headed the Afghan delegation and emphasised, ‘We found this workshop and the project in general very interesting and full of good results. We hope that Afghanistan will benefit greatly by learning from Indonesia and transferring the knowledge to Afghanistan for women’s economic empowerment.’

The Deputy Minister of MoWECP and the Assistant Deputy Governor of the Indonesian province of Yogyakarta officially opened the workshop with speeches on women’s economic empowerment in Indonesia. Both emphasised their support and commitment to further exchange with their Afghan partners.

Indonesia has made remarkable and successful efforts to integrate women into the economy, particularly through pilot projects for small and micro industries. Women also hold lots of potential in the Afghan economy – potential that has so far not been sufficiently used. Indonesia is thus an important source and learning partner for Afghanistan in this regard.

The attendees discussed examples that could easily be transferred to the Afghan context. On field trips in the Indonesian provinces of Yogyakarta and Wonosobo, the Afghan delegation visited female entrepreneurs and women who own small businesses. The workshop also included presentations, group work with Civil Society Organisations closely associated with women in home industries, question and answer sessions and other exercises. The representatives of MoWA will use the knowledge gained for further discussions on women’s empowerment at the ministry. The results will be reflected to their Indonesian partners.

To facilitate cooperation, the MoWA representatives learned to successfully cooperate with other southern countries, the implications for Afghanistan as the beneficiary of such processes, and how gained knowledge can be transferred back to their country.

The Open Policy Advisory Fund (OPAF) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since 2009, the project has been financing the deployment of expertise in Afghan institutions and training their staff to build capacities and facilitate the implementation of reforms in line with good governance criteria. Flexibility and rapid responses to support requests are key to OPAF’s approach. Among other activities, the project organised professional and job-specific training for more than 200 decision-makers working at state institutions from 2014 onwards.