The UK's Independent recently named the world's best places to be a woman—and the world's worst. Afghanistan had the unfortunate position of last place for the world's most dangerous place to be female.
In the mountainous southern province of Helmand, where opium is king, Mercy Corps has opened a vocational training center to give women—and men—opportunities to build skills and gain employment. Less than a year after opening the center, more than 900 women have enrolled to learn English, computers, sewing, embroidery and calligraphy.
Though the security situation remains volatile, unlocking the potential of women in Helmand can bring more prosperity to thousands of families, boosting local economies to provide a buffer against violence.