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UNITAR Hiroshima Women's Leadership Programme for Afghanistan

UNITAR Hiroshima
Women's Leadership Programme for Afghanistan

<Applications for 2019 Now Open>

The UNITAR Hiroshima Women's Leadership Programme for Afghanistan: the Sustainable Development Goals, Action Plans and Governance is a training programme designed to empower junior- to mid-level young female professionals from all sectors in Afghanistan. Supported by the people and Government of Japan, the programme comprises of two workshops, including one international workshop.

The programme aims to empower women leadeThe programme aims to empower women leaders, with the understanding that "there is no peace without development, there is no development without peace, and there is no lasting peace or sustainable development without respect of human rights and the rule of law." The programme will build participants’ understanding of good governance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG 5 – Gender Equality. The programme will allow for focused engagement to take place exploring key elements of gender equality, governance, the SDGs, the Afghanistan-SDGs, and leadership in the context of Afghanistan. Through the programme’s interactive presentations and practical exercises from local and international experts and UNITAR staff, participants will be equipped with the conceptual knowledge and practical know-how to design and deliver projects and policies focused on gender equality and empowerment to support Afghanistan as it seeks to rebuild and strengthen itself.

The 2018 Cycle was a success, in which the 20 participants, selected from nearly 400 applicants, attended Workshop I in Kabul, Workshop II in Tokyo and Hiroshima, and a follow-up workshop joined by several Afghanistan Fellowship Programme alumni in Kabul again. During the one month between Workshop I and II, participants conducted an Organisational Needs Assessment project after taking an online course on ONA. They presented their results at the beginning of Workshop II and continued polishing their projects through the training. Three international Resource Persons including gender and governance specialists from UNDP Bangkok and Singapore were brought in for the Japan Workshop, and three local Japanese experts were invited to introduce Japan's efforts gender equality for the one-day seminar in Tokyo. Based upon the ONA, during their time in Japan, participants developed robust action plans which they presented on the final day. Action plans ranged from training young women on job interviews and CV writing skills to decrease female unemployment, to providing safe-houses for children so that they are not forced to become child laborers. Many participants said they were eager to implement their action plans as soon as they return to Afghanistan. 

Read more about 2018 Cycle: Workshop I in Kabul and Workshop II in Toyko and Hiroshima

Local media in Japan also reported on the progamme. Read the English translation of the article here

See what the 2018 Cycle participants have to say about their experiences on Focus on Fellows: Hanifa Girowal and Tahera Fahimi

More Focus on Fellows stories from participants of our other programmes.

Call for Applications

Applications for 2019 Cycle are open now

Applications close 26 March 2019 (23:59 Kabul Time)

The 15 participants will be chosen through a rigorous selection process, including an online application form and an interview.

Please refer to the Call for Applications for more information on the application and process: Call for Applications Document (PDF, 860KB)

Note: UNITAR does not charge any fee to apply, nor is there a cost involved to participate in this programme.


This programme is open to women from Afghanistan and is targeted at junior to mid-level young professionals. We seek to have participants from a broad range of organizations, including government ministries and bodies, universities, the private sector, civil society organizations and the media. Participants from the provinces are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Current Role
    • Applicant must be currently in a junior- to mid-level position and be between 20 to 35 years old.
    • Applicant must be working for an Afghan organisation – including government ministries or bodies, universities, private sector, civil society and non-profit organisations, and the media.
    • Applicants working for international organisations or international NGOs are ineligible to apply.
  • Educational Background
    • At the minimum, a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Language and Computer Skills
    • Applicant must have an excellent working knowledge of spoken and written English.
    • Applicant must be proficient in the use of Microsoft Office.
    • Applicant must have access to the internet to complete online courses.
  • Supervisor's Commitment
    • Participants must secure their supervisors’ written support for involvement in the programme.
    • Please use the provided “Letter of Supervisor Support” template, which requires approval and signatures from your immediate supervisor, as well as your Director / HR Director / Executive Director / Deputy Minister.
  • Availability
    • Participants are required to attend and actively participate in workshops, interact with each other and Resource Persons, and complete all readings, online courses and assignments.
    • Participants must commit to the programme, including 8 days of on-site training plus travel time.
    • Attendance at all training sessions is mandatory.
      • Participants from the provinces may attend the first workshop remotely.
    • Applicants must hold a valid passport (valid until at least January 2020) and be able to travel overseas unaccompanied.

How to Apply

  1. Complete the Eligiblity Questionnaire to check you are eligible to apply
  2. Read the Call for Applications document carefully. It is available here: Call for Applications (PDF, 860KB)
  3. Draft your responses to the application short-response questions. We recommend you first write and save them first as a Word document, in case you run into any issues during the online application process. Responses to each question should be between 100 to 200 words.
    1. Why do you want to participate in this programme?
    2. Please tell us how you will implement the learning from the programme in your workplace and/or community.
    3. Please tell us how you and/or your organization is engaged with the SDGs. How can you and your organization contribute to the SDGs? Please give at least one specific example.
    4. How does gender affect your work?
    5. Your profile – introduce your education, current affiliation/role and relevant work experience (including any volunteer work).
  4. Prepare the required documents
    1. Copy of your passport
      1. Make sure to include both pages, showing your photo and signature.
      2. Make sure it is valid until at least January 2020
    2. Colour passport-style photograph (head and shoulders)
    3. Letter of Supervisor Support
      1. This must be signed by your immediate supervisor as well as, depending on what kind of organization you work for, your Director / HR Director / Executive Director / Deputy Minister  

Click here to Apply

Please refer any questions to the contact persons listed in the Call for Applications.