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Ambassador's Small Grants Program supports gender equality in Afghanistan

This gym for women in Kabul is one of several USAID projects in Afghanistan.

John Moore / Getty Images

An Afghan girl practices during gymnastics class at a U.S. funded gymnasium for women women on September 7 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The facility, called the Alzahra Cultural and Sport Association, is the only gym for women in western Kabul and received almost $10,000 as startup money from the U.S. Ambassador's Small Grants Program (ASGP). The two-year $38 million program, run by the American Embassy and USAID, is the main U.S. government initiative to promote women's issues in Afghanistan, including grants for businesses run by Afghan women, promotion of girl's education and gender equality advocacy. In Afghanistan most women cannot read and suffer one of the highest maternal death rates in the world.

John Moore / Getty Images

Afghan girls practice martial arts at a U.S. funded gym for women on September 7, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

John Moore / Getty Images

Afghan girls exercise during gymnastics class at a U.S. funded gymnasium for women on September 7, 2011 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

John Moore / Getty Images

Afghan girls practice during gymnastics class at a U.S. funded gymnasium for women on September 7 in Kabul, Afghanistan.