By: Suraya Raiszada
Afghan women with their increasing skills and professionality have been able to play effective and active role in all sectors particularly security.
In an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, deputy minister of defense Munira Yousufzada by pointing to successes, challenges and achievements of Afghan women working in the country’s defense and security organs particularly Afghan National Army said presence of 3,000 women in the country’s army is quite effective.
She said Afghanistan has experienced four decades of continued war and there were still increasing challenges and problems facing the people particularly the Afghan women.
“There are still unpleasant tradition and customs in Afghan society which prevents increasing presence and activity of women in various sectors particularly security, but women who are active in security section have proved their active role and presence in the society,” Mrs. Yousufzada added.
Pointing to current situation in the country, deputy minister of defense said no war was permanent and each war should end through peace and ceasefire, stressing that the war in Afghanistan has been imposed on Afghans by terrorists and Taliban; therefore, the country’s defense and security organs were responsible to protect and defend the country and its people.
She said that role of Afghanistan National Army (ANA) was to protect the country’s sovereignty and national territorial integrity and their role was permanent, adding that results of the peace talks would not affect their role; therefore, women working in ANA should not be concerned about their future after the peace talks.
“In consideration to commitments made by the international community to women, the women rights should be protected in ongoing peace talks as asked by all Afghan women,” Mrs. Yousufzada said, adding that the government also wants women rights, their achievements and national values not to be dealt in peace talks.
According to deputy minister of defense, presence of Afghan women in various sector is a big achievement of Afghans; therefore, role of Afghan women won’t be ignored in intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban, instead their role will get stronger and continue in a better way. Pointing to mechanisms and policies followed by MoD for better operation of women in the country’s defense sectors, deputy minister of defense said there were a range of programs as resolute support from women, support from women’s activities, their active role in all sections of the defense ministry and creating a complaint commission to address violence and harassment cases against women.
While pointing to International Women’s Day, Munira Yousufzada said her message in connection with International Women’s Day was to forget about symbolically marking the day, instead it was good to further strengthen solidarity among women to support each other and to reflect their heroism to the world. She asked the people to respect women with military uniform as they did for men with military uniform as the Afghan women have made continued effort to work in the country’s defense and security sector following increasing challenges and problems.