The problem

Afghanistan is one of the hardest places in the world to be a woman. For women across the country, access to public life is shrinking, meaning the avenues through which they can earn an income, access education, and ultimately lift their families out of poverty are becoming more and more limited.

This has made it even harder for families to make it through the economic collapse and widespread food insecurity that has taken it's grip since the Taliban takeover - often reliant on a single breadwinner to provide for entire families, many overstretched households have been forced into extreme debt just to make ends meet. In the last 18 months, as a result of rising unemployment, a lack of cash, considerably high food and fuel prices, two incredibly harsh consecutive droughts and deepening erosions on women's basic freedoms, a staggering 80% of households in Afghanistan have experienced income reduction, with 82% taking on debt. 

The solution

In times of crisis, we rely on family and friends to help us get by. We rely on each other. By recognising the transformative nature of these support networks around us, and the unique potential, resilience and bond female communities share, Afghanaid helps women across Afghanistan come together to reduce household debt, overcome socio-economic barriers, and have greater control over their futures despite the challenges they face.


Through establishing women's self-help groups. By mobilising informal support systems into enshrined women's groups, Afghanaid supports Afghan women to transfer skills, local knowledge, financial capital and confidence, enabling women to become the agents of change they have always had the power to be. 

What are women's self-help groups?

The idea is simple: 10-25 women come together weekly to save and launch their own small businesses. From tailoring to poultry rearing, Afghanaid delivers a wide-range of vocational training to these groups, introducing rotating loans, as well as developing their literacy and numeracy skills, and marketing capacity.

Through their new knowledge, financial resources and organised support networks, these groups of women can become extraordinary agents of change. As women meet, they work together, support one another, and fuel each other to design and create the world they want to live in. For as we all know, that even in the darkest of times, we find solace, laughter and the strength to carry on in our most important resource of all: each other.

Forging connections, finding solutions

Amena, who joined her local self-help group last year, undertook a training course in vegetable cultivation, and received the tools she needed to set up her own home garden. She takes loans from her group to purchase additional seeds and to afford transportation to the market. Thanks to her flourishing garden, she is now supporting her husband with their household expenses. "I was trained by Afghanaid in vegetable cultivation for six months. In the cultivation season, we clean, wash and pack chives, radishes, onions, and lettuce. We take them to the market and sell them."

Read Amena's Full Story

As well as helping women to lift their families out of debt, Zahra, another member of Amena's self-help group, reflected on why the group is so important to them, “As you know, Afghanistan is going through a lot of changes and especially women face a lot of challenges. When we get together, we learn about each other’s situations, problems and troubles. This is very important because a person cannot solve their problems alone. But when you share them with another woman, she can give you better advice.”

How can I help women like Amena and Zahra in Afghanistan?

With your help, women like Amena and Zahra can make the most of these female-led groups in their communities and start their own businesses. They can also support their overstretched male family members to ensure their families can escape poverty and build brighter, more prosperous communities for many years to come.

Donate today to build a brighter tomorrow

Can't donate but still want to get involved?

Reach out to our friendly team today to see how you can help spread the word about the campaign and support vulnerable Afghan women build brighter futures.