Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit

Research and Reflection from Afghanistan

Welcome to the AREU Blog, where our staff talk about experiences in the field and comment on their areas of expertise. As such, the posts do not necessarily represent an official AREU position, but can provide insight into research in Afghanistan. You can subscribe to the blog using the RSS icon, which will also include updates on new AREU publications.

Finding roses among thorns: The hidden role of women in Afghanistan’s rural economy

| Massouda Kohistani

When Afghan women only rarely appear in public spheres, it is all too easy to miss the vital, visionary and entrepreneurial part they play not only in the nurture of their families but the economic life of their entire household and community

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A State Built on Sand: How Opium Undermined Afghanistan

04/04/2016 | AREU

“A State Built on Sand: How Opium Undermined Afghanistan”, is a book by renowned author, David Mansfield, that examines why drug control has been imposed in Afghanistan and portrays an intimate understanding of rural Afghanistan, where he has worked for close to two decades. 

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Change-makers: how a new generation of Afghan women are inspiring others to action

10/26/2015 | Shukria Azmadmanesh

Sunday 11 October was International Day of the Girl. This year’s focus is on Adolescent girls. Despite the MDG targets to achieve universal primary education and eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015, according to Afghanistan’s most recent census only 23% of Afghan adolescent girls spend their teenage years in school, as compared to 42% of their male counterparts. Most rural families in particular still do not believe it is necessary for girls to get an education; these girls are to marry young. Thus, change must start from within.

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AREU Director's remarks on the Solutions Strategy for Afghanistan Refugees


AREU’s director, Mr. Nader Nadery, recently attended the 66th annual meeting of Executive Committee of the United Nation’s High Commissioner’s Program for Refugees and delivered the following speech at a side event on the Solutions Strategy for Afghanistan Refugees. 

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Our condolences on the tragic loss of Paula Kantor


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the tragic loss of Paula Kantor, former director of AREU from 2008 to 2010, during the attack on the Park Palace Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday night, 13 May 2015.

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Leaving the “uncomfortable” home: Afghan unaccompanied children on the move

02/10/2015 | Ramin Anwari

Research and empirical data has shown that children undertaking unaccompanied journeys abroad are extremely vulnerable to dangers and violations of their human rights. They can be victims of kidnapping, sexual abuse, discrimination, forced labor,  and many other life threatening risks.  

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Ten Years of Afghan Constitution: Why Dialogue is Important

1/12/2014 | Ramin Anwari

The constitution of Afghanistan has been hailed as one of the most important achievements of the last ten years. It has been often reiterated that any possible change in the political sphere in the country should not compromise values enshrined in the constitution. However, opportunities for the people of Afghanistan, civil society members and students to actually discuss the constitution have been rare and few. 

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Constitutional Implications of a National Unity Government

| Aruni Jayakody

Last Sunday the two presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah entered into a historic agreement to form a National Unity Government (NUG). This piece examines the constitutional implications relating to key features of the Agreement.

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Revealing the Woes in the Status of Women in Afghanistan on the Fore and on the Periphery: The Significance of the Transition Narratives

09/15/2014 | Jennefer Lyn Bagaporo

Months before the actual day of the Afghan Election for 2014 and even when the campaign period officially began, stress and worries over the status of women in Afghanistan before, during, and after transition were conveyed everywhere in the country. There was rhetoric over a possible diminish of Afghan women’s rights, which translates into the disregard of all the many years of work towards gender equality and women empowerment in Afghanistan. Thus, talk about regression of women’s status was difficult to contain and in fact was already spreading. Nearing the outcome of the second run-off (that is hoped to name the next president of the country), it could not be helped that feelings of anxiety has been piling up.

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The unseen role of women in Afghan Communities: A Journey through Jalalabad

07/21/2014 | Maryam Safi

Women in Afghan communities play a very important role in social, economic, political and cultural aspects of the life but this role is often unseen or not considering very important because women rarely appear in public spheres. In Afghan communities especially in the rural areas people says, women are not involved in economic aspects but in reality, women are having a very important but unseen role in the market or economic life. If we search about the role of women in the market, we find that women involved in farming, storing, preparing or making of items but those are selling by men. The issue came into my attention when I traveled to one of the provinces of Afghanistan to do research for Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) as part of Secure Livelihood Research Consortium (SLRC) with special focus on role of women in economic life.

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