By: Suraya Raiszada
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Afghanistan says continued support of the international community to future government of Afghanistan depends on women rights condition in the country.
USAID Mission Director Dr. Tina Dooley-Jones has said international community’s continued assistance to Afghanistan is seriously depending on women participation at any political, economic and social agreement including the support of Afghan women and girls’ rights.
“In case of any indifference or shadowing Afghan women, it is not okay for future Afghanistan government to count on support of the international community or donors,” Dr. Tina said, adding that US is closely monitoring the case and will continue its support to Afghan women in restoration of their rights and empowerment and capacity building.
According to Dr. Tina, USAID has various programs to hear Afghan women voices about the country’s peace process and problems facing Afghan women in the country.
“We hope Afghan women can make use of the environment they have created for themselves. We want to convince them to go ahead with development, democracy, access to peace, women rights and the right of access to health, education and economic opportunities they have achieved during the past 20 years,” Dr. Tina stressed, adding that the US and NATO troops withdrawal process from Afghanistan won’t put any impact on the USAID’s activities in Afghanistan.
Dr. Tina hoped that the new chapter of partnership would help Afghanistan reach development.
Meanwhile, a number of Afghan elite women and members of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in their interviews with The Kabul Times correspondent consider role of Afghan women in Afghanistan current situation as key.
“Role of Afghan women in politics is very significant as there is nothing in the humanity law that can prevent from presence of women in politics,” said Sediqa Balkhi, a high-ranking member of High Council for National Reconciliation.
Mrs. Balkhi added that women like men could play vital role in society as women had the ability to express their visions; therefore, women should be given part in all affairs of a country as Islam has stressed on active presence of women. She further said that Afghan women have played effective role politics, governance and economic development during all periods of the past 20 years.
“Undoubtedly the current government as well as previous governments of Afghanistan have created open environment for women to make use of their capabilities and abilities for the betterment and development of Afghanistan,” Mrs. Balkhi stressed, adding that Afghan women should be updated with any development in connection with peace and negotiations between Afghanistan government and Taliban as no process will be successful without presence of Afghan women.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) says in consideration to increasing insecurities in Afghanistan particularly remotes areas of the country there are limitations and problems facing Afghan women and the voice of women raised for livelihood and tranquillity of women has not heard so far.
“Despite of all challenges and problems, Afghan women have had good progress in the field of politics as a number of Afghan women are ambassadors to foreign countries, showing that Afghan women have the capability to run big offices,” said Latifa Sultani, director of AIHRC’s women affairs.
Mrs. Sultani further said that it was the responsibility of the government to provide further opportunities to Afghan women so that they could make use of their talents and abilities for the development of their country.
This comes amid of US and NATO troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, increasing insecurities and efforts towards resumption of the intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban.