Afghan Women, Girls Made Substantial Gains in Last Two Decades
KABUL: Kabul based embassies and human rights watchdogs have congratulated the Afghan women for their achievements, highlighting the importance of their role in their country’s crucial and leading issues.
“On International Women’s Day, the UN family in Afghanistan celebrates the achievements of so many women who are determined to make the country a better place for all Afghans,” the UN Assistance Mission said in a statement on Monday.
UNAMA said that women need support from the international community, government and other aspects of society to play a leading role in the decision-making in the peace process.
“The peace process has brought to the fore strong Afghan women leaders, who have negotiated on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and rallied support in their communities for a peaceful solution to the conflict. Empowering these women, and expanding women’s participation, will be critical to ensure a just and sustainable peace that protects the rights of all Afghans,” said Deborah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.
The European Union in a statement called on the Afghans to join supporting gender equality in solidarity with the Afghan women.
The EU-Delegation in Kabul released the film “EU and Afghanistan for gender equality”. In the film, prominent athletes, actors, journalists, singers and activists collectively raise their voices for gender equality together with the EU and its member states present in Afghanistan.
“Women and girls in Afghanistan have made substantial gains over the past two decades. Today, 3.5 millions of Afghan girls are in school, representing around 40% of students, while women represent roughly a third of teachers in the country and are also increasingly becoming legislators, judges, doctors, civil servants, political, business and civil society leaders,” the EU said in a statement.
“The EU is a strong champion for gender equality and we stand with the women of Afghanistan, not only today but everyday. Building a peaceful, prosperous country requires the efforts of the whole population. In this country, there is so much talent and in the film we are joined by a courageous group of people from various spheres of a pluralistic Afghanistan. From an Olympic medallist to some of the most well-known singers, everyone standing up for gender equality”, says Arnout Pauwels, Deputy Head of EU Delegation and Chargés d’Affaires a.i.
The film comes as the EU, the UN and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan shortly will launch the Spotlight initiative, the most extensive program to date specifically designed to combat violence against women in Afghanistan.
US Charge d’ affairs, Ross Wilson said in a tweet that Washington supported the “loud and consistent calls of Afghan women” for a ceasefire and a just, sustainable peace.
The UK embassy in Kabul in a statement said that it was proud of the achievements gained alongside the Afghan women to “champion women’s rights, gender empowerment and girls education.”
“Over the past year, the UK has helped get girls into school and worked with women ministers, advisers and diplomats, parliamentarians, journalists, human rights defenders, soldiers and police-women, doctors, teachers and students,” the statement reads.
The UK said that it works for a sustainable peace which is shaped by women’s voices and hopes, and “a peace settlement that upholds and promotes the rights of women.”
The statement said that the UK had helped 300,000 Afghan girls attend school since 2013.
This comes as Afghanistan is currently caught in a historic peace process with the Taliban, who have been accused of violating women rights and treating women with less freedom. With the peace negotiations brokered by the US, the Afghan women have constantly lauded their voices for their rights and a preservation of achievements gained during the last two decades.