Afghan women asking for increasing role in government institutions

By: Suraya Raiszada

Afghan women have kept on their efforts and activities in all fields despite of all challenges and problems they are facing in the country. They are asking the government for increasing of their presence in all sections of the governance.
Although the government of Afghanistan has made efforts to increase role and presence of Afghan women in various fields, their presence in high-level posts is low comparing to men and based on official statistics, 27.3 percent women are working in various departments within the government institutions.
Currently, Afghanistan has three female ambassadors to US, Norway and Swiss, while there are four women in the cabinet as minister of information and culture, minister of mines and petroleum, minister of women affairs and minister for counter narcotics. Afghan women have asked for more opportunities within the government institutions so that their presence in decision-making levels increases.
Recently, Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Services (IARCS) has declared that women presence in civil services has increased as their presence in security and foreign relations has reached to 5.8 percent.
Based on new policy of the respective commission, it is hoped that women presence in civil services will soon reach to 30 percent, while the figure is now 27 percent.
A number of women working for civil society organizations and women rights say women are a big part of work force in the Afghan society; therefore, the government should increase their presence.
“Gender equality is the social and individual responsibility of all of us and all know that women have all the capability and ability to do for development of their country if they were given opportunity and authorization in decision-making,” said Tabasum Hamidi, a civil society activist.
Ms. Hamidi said that Afghan women have reached unprecedented achievements in various sectors as education, health, industry and agriculture, judicial organs, political and all other fields, but unfortunately they were still facing with challenges and violence in the country.
Safia Hamnawa, another woman working for human rights, believes that all witness increasing capabilities of women in all fields in the country despite the fact that they have suffered continued war and violence.
This comes after the country’s First Lady Rola Ghani insisted on increasing of women’s role and presence within the government particularly Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Commission.
“The government should increase role and presence of Afghan women in government institutions as providing facility for women’s presence in various fields is the main responsibility of the government and is a serious need,” the country’s First Lady said.
Afghanistan government has made continued efforts to provide opportunities and facilities to Afghan women in various fields, but women’s presence is still low comparing to men. It is hoped that the future government of Afghanistan will put providing facility and women’s presence in government institutions in top priority.
Fariha, a university lecturer, believes that this is a valuable opportunity for Afghan women and they should make use of the opportunity for their presence in all fields in the country. It is worth mentioning that Afghan women have now increasing capabilities and abilities and are able to play key role in key national issues as elections, peace process and international meetings.

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