ASGP’s program advocacy objectives focused on promoting a concerted action among advocacy CSOs to pursue nationwide advocacy efforts to improve women’s equal access to education, social and political participation, and institutional and policy change.
ASGP empowered 17 mature Afghan women-focused organizations, each ASGP Advocacy Coordination Grant (ACG) recipients, to advocate for policy changes at both the national government and community levels. With ASGP support, the Afghan Women’s Advocacy Coalition (AWAC) was formed, in coordination with the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), to create a joint advocacy platform of diverse CSOs to advocate for improved rights for Afghan women. AWAC was launched on December 12, 2010. Through this initiative, advocacy for women’s empowerment became systematic and formalized. Designed as an umbrella organization, AWAC grew to include more than 30 member organizations, two Afghan Members of Parliament and MoWA.
The coalition advocated for implementation of the Government of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) and led five national and local level advocacy campaigns to improve women’s access to education, enhance women’s political participation and improve women’s access to justice. AWAC’s “Justice for All” campaign advocated for the elimination of violence against women. Through the coalition’s efforts, 19 Afghan governors signed commitment letters to gender empowerment, which formalized provincial governors’ support for women’s rights and committed them to take action to improve the status of women and girls. AWAC led a national advocacy campaign to support women’s access to education and established a steering committee with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to develop two policies for increasing the enrollment of girls in primary and higher education. The Afghan Cabinet Ministers approved these policies in 2011. The Coalition’s member organizations continue to be engaged in AWAC initiatives and grant activities under the name of the respective organization and that of AWAC.
The videos below illustrate selected activities implemented by AWAC and testimonials by key Advocacy Coordination Grant recipients.