In recent decades, Afghanistan has been a notoriously difficult place for women to participate in civic matters. But a new study co-authored by an MIT political scientist, which assessed Afghanistan’s largest development aid program through a novel field experiment in about 500 villages, shows that women can participate constructively in political decision-making in rural Afghanistan — and realize other civic and economic benefits as a result.
The experiment, conducted over four years, assessed the impact of a community-driven program run by the Afghan government. The program required participating villages to have gender equality in their jirga or shura, local councils that typically oversee public goods and disputes, and mandated that women also vote in elections for these offices.
Full report from Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office HERE.