Updated: July 18, 2013 3:16PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Agency for International Development is launching a program to educate, train and empower at least 75,000 women between the ages of 18 to 30 in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has a male-dominated society where females have suffered repression for decades.
The goal of the five-year program is to strengthen women’s rights groups, boost female participation in the economy, increase the number of women in decision-making positions within the government and help women obtain business skills.
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced the program Thursday at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington.
The program is backed by nearly $200 million from the U.S. and another $200 million being raised from other international donors.
Afghan women have more freedoms since the hard-line Taliban regime was toppled, but remain oppressed.