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ICAWED Hosts Graduation Ceremony for Graduates from Women in Business Internship Program

On March 31, 2016 The International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development (ICAWED) of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) held its graduation ceremony, honoring graduating students from Women in Business Internship Program at the university's international campus.

The event was attended by Dr Mark A. English, AUAF President; Ms. Zen Perry, ICAWED's Executive Director; Qadria Yazdan Parast, Human Rights Commissioner; Malalai Eshoqzai, Parliament member; Saber Perdes, Director General of Policy & Planning at the Ministry of  labor and social affairs; Zohra Nawabi, Provincial counselor;  representatives from international organizations, civil society, and business women.

The event commenced with the recitation of Holy Quran and Afghanistan's National Anthem followed by the welcoming remarks by Ms. Perry. She highlighted the importance of the program and said that the program provides the graduates with a foundation for career advancement and business growth. She congratulated all the graduates and said that their relationship with ICAWED should continue.

"We have two new projects, "Story Telling" and "Our Community Garden", and everybody is invited to come back to ICAWED," said Ms. Perry. " Remember all the skills you have learned, and always be grateful for the opportunity you have."

In his speech, Dr. English told the graduates to be confident and use their skills to shape a better future

"Now the hard part comes, where you have to apply the skills you have learned, you have to have confidence to do something with it," said Dr. English. "As I look across the room and see all you graduates, I know the choice that you have made, to be strong and courageous to make a difference."

 Qadria Yazdan Parast spoke about the importance of women in the development of Afghanistan and discussed equality. She said "Social development cannot be acquired by a single entity, it is not a biological trait that one can do others cannot, man and women can both contribute."

Malalai Eshoqzai, Saber Perdes, and Zohra Nawabi congratulated the graduates, gave some tips on CV writing and networking and encouraged female participation in the government.

Following all the speeches, students crossed the stage one by one as their names were called, receiving their certificates from Dr. English, Ms. Perry and other guests.