Tue, Sep

Highland girls encouraged to play strong role in Afghan society


highland-girlsWomen role models in Afghanistan’s central highlands province of Daikundi encouraged hundreds of school girls at a UNAMA-backed event to continue their education so they can play a stronger role in the country’s future.

Daikundi is a mountainous region and one of the most remote provinces in Afghanistan, located 460 kilometres to the west of the country’s capital. It became a separate province 10 years ago, but still lacks basic infrastructure, such as asphalt roads.

The gathering in Daikundi, organized by UNAMA’s regional office and the Afghan Department of Education, provided the young school girls in the area with an opportunity to listen to the success stories and achievements of three of the province’s women leaders.

Nazdana Khaliqi, a Daikundi police officer, Sumaya Mohammadi, a member of the Daikundi Provincial Council, and Latifa Jawadi, a defense lawyer, all talked about their experiences to inspire the young girls.

Sharing the story of her life, Ms. Khaliqi said that she was one of 12 members of a poor family that could not afford to pay for her education.

“One day a police woman visited our district to help women who had suffered from domestic violence,” she said, explaining how, at the time, she could not believe that a woman could become a police officer. “That was when I decided to join the police, because I thought it would be the best way to support women in one of the most remote parts of the country.”

Ms. Mohammadi, in her comments delivered at the event, which was attended by some 700 girls and their parents, said Afghan women have suffered during three decades of war, but noted that now is the best time for girls to pursue an education.

“If I could get an education during the difficult period of Jihad and civil war, you should be able to do so now because the environment is much more conducive to it,” she urged.

Similarly, Ms. Jawadi cited the importance of girls pursuing an education, especially for understanding and promoting the rights of women. “Without education, we will never understand the rights given to us in the Afghan Constitution and won’t be able to defend ourselves,” she said.

UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and relevant international and local non-governmental organizations to assist in the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution and international treaties to which Afghanistan is a State party, in particular those regarding the full enjoyment by women of their human rights.