Preserving hard-fought women’s rights a must

The progress made by Afghan women within the past two decades is undeniable. They also fought for their rights and freedoms, raised their voice against injustice, participated in demonstrations for supporting their human rights, and participated in social and political decision makings.
Afghan women had their representatives in Loya Jirga for the approval of constitution, they participated in presidential and provincial councils’ elections to defend their rights and gained seats in parliament, they studied hard to hold better positions in social and political arenas.
Afghan women also play active role in social, cultural, educational and economic arenas. They are teachers, doctors, engineers, lecturers, and traders, to name but a few. To put it succinctly, Afghan women made great progress in social, cultural, political, and economic arenas if one compares them with Taliban era.
Recently, Afghanistan won a seat at the United Nations Commission on Status of Women for a four-year term.
Afghan Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adela Raz, called the membership of the commission a “historic victory”. This is the first time that Afghanistan becomes the member of the UN’s women commission.
“We are grateful to all members of the UN’s economic and social council for their votes to Afghanistan which certifies Afghan women’s ability in the reconstruction of their country,” Afghan embassy to the UN said Tuesday in a statement.
The United Nations’ Commission on Status of Women has 45 members. It serves for gender equality and women’s development.
In the post-Taliban administration, Afghan women have been playing highly essential role in collective life. Women’s active role in social and political issues, despite many cultural barriers, is jaw-dropping. But the strides made by Afghan women were not possible without the support of the international community. The supports paved the way for the progress of Afghan women and empowered them in social and political arenas have to be appreciated.
Afghan government has time and again emphasized on preserving of women’s rights in peace process and have appointed women in key government positions inside and outside of the country to show its will for women empowerment.
Afghan women suffered severely as a result of fundamental ideology and misogynistic approaches practiced in one way or another. Their rights and freedoms were trampled upon by many factions. Violation of their rights must stop here and they should no more be discriminated on the basis of their gender or treated as inferior.
Each member of the Afghan negotiating team has to define women’s rights and liberties as red-line and show zero tolerance towards discriminatory remarks and approaches regarding women. As mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters, women have equal rights with their brothers, sons, husbands and fathers. They do not want to backtrack or have their achievements at stake.

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