https://www.youtube.com/The key role of women in supporting good governance in Kunduz was a major takeaway from a UNAMA-backed consultative meeting in this northeastern province.
More than 50 people – the majority women -- took part in the one-day event, including representatives from civil society, government, the provincial council, Ulama council and local media. The roundtable aimed to raise awareness about the importance of women having roles in governmental institutions at the provincial level and to advocate for their employment as civil servants. UNAMA supported the discussion in partnership with the Kunduz Department of Women Affairs (DoWA) and the provincial civil society network. According to information from the Kunduz DoWA, women comprise 17 per cent of staff working in local public administration, while there are more women staff than men in the provincial health and education sectors. Nasiba Holkar, Director of Kunduz DoWA, said “The role and participation of women in good governance should not be symbolic.” Women needed to be empowered so they will be stronger and be in a position to compete with men for socio-economic opportunities, said Ms. Holkar. A newly-established Provincial Gender Committee, in accordance with a presidential decree, was a positive step that aimed to increase the number of women provincial civil servants. Marzia Rustami, a civil society activist, pointed to capacity-building as a practical way in which women’s participation could be enhanced. “Existing laws and regulations grant women their human’s rights,” said Ms. Rustami. “We have a responsibility to raise women’s capacity and advise them about opportunities in the community.” Local broadcast media covered the event, broadcasting a pre-recorded programme that reached an estimated audience of half a million people in Kunduz province. Kunduz province shares an international border with Tajikistan. The Kunduz River valley, flowing from south to north, supports local agricultural production.