Ministry of Women’s Affairs


When the Taliban regime collapsed in 2001, the Bonn Agreement led to the establishment of the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) as it exists today.  Currently, MOWA has 9 central departments and 34 provincial departments. These departments are Finance and Administration; Legal Affairs (Huquq Department); Office of the Minister; Economic Development; Cultural Affairs; Public Affairs and Gender Awareness; International Coordination; Social Affairs; and Provincial Relations.

JSSP supports MOWA, which is the lead agency for promoting women's rights and advancement in Afghanistan. Its main purpose is to ensure that Afghanistan women’s legal, economic, social, political, and civic rights, including the right to be free from all forms of violence and discrimination, are respected and promoted. MOWA’s primary duties are forming policy, coordinating initiatives, and overseeing the implementation of the National Action Plan for Women (NAPWA).


MOWA is tasked with promoting justice initiatives by providing training, mentoring, and advisory services and support to governmental and nongovernmental organizations throughout Afghanistan.  MOWA recently started a Gender Capacity Building Educational Training Committee (ETC) to strengthen its training department’s capacity to coordinate, monitor, and direct trainings.  MOWA plays an active role on the Criminal Law Reform Working Group (CLRWG) by recommending revisions to the current Penal Code to better protect women from gender-based crimes.


Huquq (Rights) Department: The staff of MOWA’s Huquq Department works on penal reform through the CLRWG, conducts internal training for justice staff and is actively engaged in implementing the Victim Witness Assistance Project (VWAP).  MOWA’s Huquq Department encourages greater female participation in the Afghan workforce and in the legislative drafting process.  

Gender Capacity Building Educational Training Committee (ETC): In early 2013, MOWA established the ETC which monitors, directs, coordinates and assesses international and in-house trainings.  The ETC holds weekly meetings, formulates lesson plans and curricula, and centralizes training throughout Afghanistan.  MOWA’s ETC successfully created a training database to track all of its gender-based trainings. 

Gender Mainstreaming: MOWA’s Gender Capacity Building Unit (GCBU) now regularly meets with the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office to discuss gender trainings to be implemented by MOWA.  These meetings are aimed at developing and increasing MOWA’s trainers’ capacity in planning, material and curriculum development, lesson plan development, agenda creation and training implementation and delivery methods.  MOWA’s trainers also prepare gender awareness training for the Ministry of Justice’s staff and other justice institutions.

Victim Witness Assistance Project (VWAP):  MOWA is actively engaged in implementing the first VWAP center.  The VWAP  provides comprehensive victim assistance for all female victims of violent crimes.  The VWAP increases efficiency and functionality with the Legal Rights (Huquq) Department.  According to Article 8 of the Law Eliminating Violence Against Women, MOWA is obligated to provide protective and supportive measures to crime victims.  The VWAP is there to enable the MOWA to better coordinate with both governmental and non-government agencies to ensure that victims of violence have their rights protected.  


    • MOWA’s Capacity Building Unit created the internal Educational Training Committee.  This committee enables MOWA to monitor, direct, coordinate, and assess international and in-house trainings.  The committee utilizes nationally-standardized training materials to expand gender education in both government and nongovernmental institutions.

    • The ETC is now working effectively in developing lesson plans and curricula on gender related issues.

    • The ETC created a smaller subcommittee to focus on report writing.

    • The ETC finalized a Terms of Reference document which outlines the committee’s goals and responsibilities.

    • MOWA joined the Criminal Law Reform Working Group, the officially-recognized body drafting a revised and consolidated Penal Code.  MOWA recommends revisions to the Penal Code to better protect women from gender based crimes.

    • MOWA’s Huquq Department hosts internal trainings.  Courses taught include Legislative Drafting, the Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (LEVAW), Gender Justice, Forced Marriage, Running Away, Victim Advocacy, and Victim Witness Protection Measures.

    • MOWA staff members utilize individualized mentoring services to assist them with applying their newly acquired legal skills to their job objectives.

    • MOWA is planning and developing the Victim Witness Assistance Program.

    • MOWA gained access to the computerized Case Management System (CMS) so that MOWA can monitor and track gender-based violence crimes.


MOWA works with a variety of partners, including the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the European Police Mission - Afghanistan (EUPOL), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Assistance Mission Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UN Women.    

A Primer for Practitioners

Tool to practical introduction to rule of law development in Afghanistan, cross-referencing training and educational support material.

Latest Report

Women's Access to Justice in Afghanistan: Since the fall of the Taliban in 2002, gains in women’s rights and access to justice in Afghanistan have been remarkable, yet women’s rights remain extremely limited.