The WIA programs operate on the principles of women teaching and mentoring women. Women teaching women in both informal and classroom settings allows for the use of educational approaches that help women feel comfortable and learn at different rates. Women openly ask questions and speak up in discussions. They share experiences and are able to problem-solve together. However, the value of women teachers goes beyond learning styles and comfort. Having women as teachers and mentors helps each participant gain confidence that she can accomplish her goals and make a difference, despite the many obstacles she may face!
Work groups as a way of organizing and problem solving are being perpetuated through AAEP in Afghanistan. The WIA Work Group represents stakeholders from different sectors of agricultural production; non-government organizations, government extension, the research community and farmers from around the Kabul area. They meet regularly to discuss issues that pertain to women working in agriculture in Afghanistan. Together they have developed proposals for extension projects demanded by the women farmers, such as saffron growing, which requires costly inputs but is a recognized cash crop, and improved food processing for adding value to kitchen garden produce. In addition, the women have learned the benefit of cooperation and now form a tight network of women who are committed to helping others and together have an impressive bank of horticultural and marketing knowledge.
Women's Work Group in Kabul, Afghanistan