Afghanistan Women's Economic Participation - Survey

Building Markets has conducted a nationwide survey of Afghanistan to measure the economic participation of Afghan women; from this survey, we have created a report to profile the challenges and successes experienced by women in Afghanistan as they participate in and support local economies. This report is available in English, Dari, and Pashto. 

Equality in the workplace helps lift people out of poverty and contributes to higher GDP levels, but around the world women continue to represent an untapped economic potential. Globally, the gender gap in the workplace is on the decline, with women-owned businesses an increasingly important driver of change in the private sector for broader economic development.

Now more than ever before, an unprecedented number of Afghan women are participating in the formal private sector economy as entrepreneurs, business owners, and employees. However, there is very little data available on these women and their activities. A primary objective of this report is to document and better understand their experiences and needs as they see them.

This report serves as a baseline for beginning to fill this knowledge gap by directly recording the views and experiences of businesswomen and female employees in Afghanistan. These women agreed to answer questions about who they are, what kinds of work they do, and how they see themselves as working women, including the difficulties they face and the challenges and obstacles they must overcome to do their jobs and run their businesses. Importantly, they also talked about their needs, aspirations, and outlook for the immediate future.

The data presented in this report is based on three surveys undertaken with 298 women business owners, 524 women employees, and 602 key informants from a cross-section of institutions and businesses throughout the whole of Afghanistan, for a total of 1,424 participants. This data should be considered as a starting point for more effectively leveraging the economic contributions of Afghan women now, in the near future, and beyond.

The timing of this report is critical. In 2014, Afghan people will make the difficult transition to determining their own future. As this study demonstrates, it is clear that Afghan women have a key role to play in the economic recovery and development of their country. They are one of Afghanistan’s most valuable resources. The women surveyed for this report provide insight into how they can be supported for success —at the family level, in the workplace, by the Afghan government, and by the international community. It is time to listen to and act on what they say they need.


Afghan Women's Economic Participation Report 2013 - Executive Summary 

Afghan Women's Economic Participation Report 2013 - English

Afghan Women's Economic Participation Report 2013 - Dari

Afghan Women's Economic Participation Report 2013 - Pashto