Tue, Oct

Afghan Women Launch Public Policy Journal


A group of Afghan women have launched the "Women and Public Policy Journal" which aims to put forward the views of women and help strengthen their role in research and analysis.

Written by 10 female authors, the journal was launched on Thursday at a ceremony attended by the Afghan Ambassador to Spain Masood Khalili, a number of government officials and women's rights activists among others.

According to the authors, this journal will help strengthen the role of women in the areas of research and analysis and put across their views regarding different sectors.
"We want to gather women's views in different sectors and deliver them to planners in government, parliament and civil society," said Mariam Safi, the founder of Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies and editor of the journal.

Guests at the launch applauded the initiative and announced their support for Afghan women who fight for their rights.
"You are not the girls that only hold pens but you are holding flags that give me hope that 'we will never move back'," said Khalili, who is a well-known Afghan author and poet.
He promised to stand beside Afghan women regardless of "how cruel Taliban become."

Freshta Zarabi, one of the authors of the journal, said she contributed to the project by conducting research on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation's (SAARC) role on empowering civil society in Afghanistan.
Despite many commonalities between Afghanistan and regional countries, she said Afghan civil society does not trust regional organizations and that she hopes to build that confidence. According to her, Afghan civil society is mainly dependent on western countries.

In addition, she said SAARC has also not paid much attention to the civil society organizations in Afghanistan.
The guests meanwhile praised the Afghan women who compiled the journal and urged them to continue their fight for women's rights.
"This is a big achievement for young Afghan women and I hope this evolution continues to grow," said Zarghona Rasa, media advisor for the CEO's Office.

The journal, which has initially been published in English, consists of 148 pages. The authors said however that Dari and Pashto versions of the journal will be published soon.