Women Toward Self Sufficiency

Shaima is a 39 year old woman lives in Abdul Rahman Jami II Community Development Council (CDC), first Gozar of the twelfth district of Herat city. She used the opportunity created by the Citizen Charter National Priority Program (CCNPP) and established an educational center in which 72 women and 20 children are being trained in literacy, Holy Quran, sewing and hairdressing classes.

There are 250 household in Abdurrahman Jami II CDC with 2,389 population, in which 1153 are women and 678 of them are illeterate. Illiteracy is a major problem in the community and yet no specific action has been taken to solve this problem in many places.

When the area was covered by the services of Citizen Charter, there was a CDC created in which women have equal participation. The educational and capacity-building component of the program, encouraged women to study and create businesses, so that they can actively participate in the community and present their ideas freely.

Shaima is a woman of her unit representing 25 households in the CDC. She was elected as Deputy Chairperson of Abdul Rahman Jami II CDC. She regularly participates in meetings of the CDC and has built close realtionship with women in order to identify thier problems and find solutions for them.

Ms. Shaima says "When the CDC made by Citizen Charter National Priority Program in which women have 50% participation and their presence is certain and compulsory, So this envolvement made women keen to have at least the literacy of reading and writing in order to have active participation in the meetings" she added, “In Citizen Charter National Priority Program, there is, 10% of the budget dedicated for women to enable them creat their livelihood projects," Therefore, a number of the women in the Gozar level were interested to learn sewing and hairdressing, in order to have required preparation for the livelihood projects.

As a result, Ms. Shaima, after a meeting with the chairperson of the CDC dated 4/3/1397, has rented a house and started an educational course. So far 72 women and 20 children have been studying literacy, holy Quran, sewing and hairdressing in two times (morning and afternoon), taught by five volenteer lady teachers. She recieves 150 AFS from each student to pay for the rent of the house and other expenses which is 4000 AFS per month but the children recieve the course free of charge.

She said “When I created the center, I sent a request letter through the CDC to Literacy department, the literacy department provided 25 volumes of literacy books and a whiteboard. It is expected that in the future, they will donate us carpet as well.” She added "Before the Citizen Charter National Priority Program, women were not even thinking about literacy and they didn’t have any business ideas, there was not even a local education course prior to the Citizen Charter National Priority Program creation of CDC through Citizen Charter program, along with particpation of women in social and development activities, helped us to provide assistance to other women of the community and to participate in development projects, and enabled us to have communication and relations with other governmental and non-governmental organizations.