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Women in Transition

Transitioning countries, also called developing countries, are those undergoing substantial development to their economies, politics, and societies. It is recognized that women are critical in the full realization of the potential of countries around the world. In many societies, women and girls are not given equal access to education (see education page) nor employment, thus limiting the work force to 50% of available talent and knowledge. When women have higher education and/or a job they are likely to have fewer children, feed those children better, and send them to school. Investing in women leads to greater societal development over time.

Included here are the stories of women who are investing in themselves and the women around them. The work that these women have dedicated their lives to is changing the world. They are changing the way women are perceived in their communities, proving that women are capable, smart, and passionate. Included on this page are the stories, resources, and statistics on women empowering themselves to change their situation, and in turn the world. We focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are two countries that have, traditionally, struggled with development and equal rights. There is still much work to be done but both countries have been making significant progress in recent years. Their successes and challenges are highlighted here.


Afghanistan is currently rebuilding after years of war, oppressive rule, and broken institutions. The United Nations, other governments, non-governmental organizations, and private investors are making progress in real terms throughout Afghanistan. But, there is significant development that still needs to occur. The UN Development Program ranks Afghanistan as the only country seriously off track with regards to the Millennium Development Goal of Promotion of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women. Outlined below are indicators of the current situation in Afghanistan.

Ongoing Efforts:

Outlined below are ongoing efforts by development agencies throughout Afghanistan. The UN has stressed the need to keep the development of Afghanistan as a top priority in the coming years in order for the broader effects of international support for Afghanistan to manage its own affairs is likely to fail.  Full Story

   Here are stories of how these development efforts are changing the lives of women and girls throughout Afghanistan:

Interviews with afghan women and other videos:

Encouraging signs:

Afghanistan News Stories:

For more information:


Pakistan is the third most dangerous country in the world for women. Each year, more than 1,000 women are murdered in ’honor killings’ awhile more than 90 percent suffer domestic abuse. Honor killings are murders, typically by family members, when the victim has brought dishonor upon the family, typically in rural areas in Pakistan. Acid throwing, forced marriages, violence against women including domestic abuse and rape, and forced prostitution are all too common in Pakistan, and in fact, prevalence has been increasing.  The status of women varies greatly depending upon class, region, and tribe.  Full Story

In 2011, Pakistan was ranked next to last (134 of 135) in the human development index, which is comprised of life expectancy, mean years of school, and gross national income. For the same year, Pakistan was ranked 115 in gender inequality. Current indicators of the development of Pakistan are outline below.

Current indicators of the development of Pakistan are outline below.

Ongoing Efforts:

The lives of Pakistani women are highlighted in these stories. The presence of abuse in the daily lives of women is striking and the need for change is abundantly clear.

For more information:


Pakistan News Stories: