Kabul, Afghanistan – A new dormitory, designed to house 200 female students, was inaugurated today by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John R. Bass, USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Gregory Huger, and American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) Registrar Dr. Julie Barker Holland. Constructed with support from USAID’s Promote Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment program, the new facility is designed to increase female attendance at AUAF by providing a safe and secure living and learning environment.
The women’s dormitory is a state-of-the art three-story 3,000 square meter building that includes living quarters for up to 200 students, study and lounge areas, and administrative space. To expand housing opportunities to the broadest possible range of women, priority placement will be given to women from outside the capital, who are unable to commute to classes.
From its inception, the women’s dormitory was designed to advance women’s empowerment. Fifteen female engineering graduates from Kabul University participated in the dormitory’s design and construction, receiving on-the-job training and increasing their skills.
Since its establishment in 2006, the American University of Afghanistan has played a key role in educating the next generation of Afghan civic, business, and government leaders. With a nearly 50 percent female student body and with the addition of the women’s dormitory, AUAF is poised to continue advancing women’s education and economic opportunities. The United States is proud to partner with AUAF as it contributes to a more inclusive and prosperous future for Afghanistan’s women leaders.
With almost $17 billion spent on development programs in Afghanistan since 2002, USAID provides the largest bilateral civilian assistance program to Afghanistan. USAID partners with the government and people of Afghanistan to ensure economic growth led by the country’s private sector, to establish a democratic and capable state governed by the rule of law, and to provide basic health and education services for all Afghans.