A government program to promote gender equality and employment for Afghanistan women has cost U.S. taxpayers $89.7 million over three years — and found jobs for just 55 women, a new report shows.
It happened under a United States Agency for International Development program called “Promote.” The program is a five-year effort with a total taxpayer price tag of $216 million.
The program’s stated goal is to empower 75,000 women in Afghanistan. But a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, states that the agency has made little progress toward that goal.
Can the program deliver its goal?
“It is unclear whether the agency can deliver the opportunities it promised the women of Afghanistan,” the report states.
Promote is described as the USAID’s largest single investment to advance women globally. Part of its mission is to help Afghan women find jobs.
“An end-of-program performance indicator target for one component is for 2,100 women to find new or better employment with the Afghan government,” the inspector general stated. “As of September 2017, USAID said 55 women did.”