May 31, 2010 —
Farah Governor Rahool Amin discusses the need to develop a priority agenda for the women of Farah with the Female Engagement Team in Farah, Afghanistan, May 25. The FET is composed of a U.S. Agency for International Development representative and four female military service members assigned to PRT Farah.
KABUL, Afghanistan (May 30) — Farah Provincial Governor Rahool Amin and the Female Engagement Team (FET) assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah met to develop a priority agenda for the women of province, Tuesday.
The engagement team is composed of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) representative and four female military servicemembers assigned to PRT Farah.
The team meets with Afghan women from all over the province and provides them an opportunity to address the concerns and issues of the women of Farah. After the FET gathers their assessments, they work closely with Afghan cooperatives on solutions to the women's problems.
"Even before getting to Afghanistan people would tell me it would be difficult to work with the women here because of cultural customs," said Marsha Michel, USAID field officer and FET coordinator for PRT Farah. "After only a few months of being here I realized that women here just need a little direction, and an opportunity to showcase their skills."
Issues such as job opportunities, literacy classes and health care were reoccurring themes in many of the women shuras.
Based on feedback received, the engagement team has dedicated their efforts to establishing job opportunities, developing skills-enrichment programs to help women sustain their own businesses and creating preventive health training programs. Their number one priority is establishing a venue in which women can receive health care.
"Ninety-eight percent of the women you see in Farah look healthy, but are really battling with some type of sickness," said Governor Amin.
The governor and the FET started the planning process for women's health days at Farah Hospital. The hospital is open to women from all over Farah two days a month to come and see a female health practitioner about health issues.
Ultimately, the FET would like the team to be comprised of Afghan women actively working with the governor and provincial leadership to find solutions to the problems facing the women of Farah.