Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Gender Equality Ensures a Vibrant Society

Equality between men and women is one of the core values of the Afghanistan constitution. This value has been enshrined in Afghan legal and political frameworks. Based on the Afghanistan constitution, Afghan government is committed to breaking the vicious cycle of gender discrimination through developing gender responsive polices in different sectors. Afghan government has taken different measures and a range of activities aimed at empowering girls and women, protecting their rights, transforming their lives and strengthening their voices as drivers of sustainable development.
Afghan government wants to take further measures to ensure empowerment of Afghan women. However, if Afghan government is really determined to support women, it shall focus on young women as its central theme, and more particularly harnessing the potential of Afghan youth. This also requires the government to reinforce the capacity Afghan youth.
The international community has commended the Afghan Government in its effort to promote gender parity with its National Gender Policy. It aims to build a just society devoid of discrimination, harness the full potentials of all social groups regardless of sex or circumstances. However, significant gaps in education, economic empowerment and political participation still remain in Afghanistan.
Indeed, achieving women empowerment is not a “quick fix”. It will take sound public policies, a holistic approach and long term commitment from Afghan government and all development actors. Putting an end to gender discrimination has been a key issue during the past 18 years in Afghanistan. Based on the new Afghan constitution, women had good excel in the mentioned period, but there are still glass ceilings to be broken, policies that need to be changed, practices that need to be altered and stereotypes about women to be discarded. Achieving these goals in the traditional society of Afghanistan is very difficult, but they are not impossible if the government is really determined to put them in place. To this end, Afghan government shall take specific measures in the following Areas:
Ensuring girls’ and women’s physical and psychological integrity and preventing and combating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a precondition for equitable and inclusive sustainable development, as well as an important value and objective in itself. Therefore, Afghan government shall combat harmful practices such as forcing girls into early marriage, the lack of knowledge required to make sexual and reproductive decisions responsibly, sexual abuse in childhood, displacement due to conflicts and economic insecurity.
Afghan government shall promote the economic and social rights / empowerment of girls and women ensuring that girls and women are empowered, that their economic and social rights are fulfilled and that an enabling environment for their fair and active participation in the economy exists are key priorities for the government. Afghan women hope the government support and develop a comprehensive and realistic policy for an increase in the number of girls and women receiving quality education at all levels, including in science, technology and engineering, and receiving vocational, professional and/or entrepreneurial training, improving access by women of all ages to decent work. Women’s equal accesses to financial services and to the use of, and control over, land and other productive resources, as well as support to women entrepreneurs are the measures that are critical to ensure gender equality in Afghanistan.
Afghan government shall Strengthen Girls’ and Women’s Voice and Participation Ensuring that girls and women, boys and men, have a voice at all levels of society, and are able to effectively participate and have a say over decisions that affect their lives.
Afghan women form half of the society. They have been marginalized systematically in Afghanistan in most part of the history of the country. They only have been given opportunity in very short periods of the history of Afghanistan. The new constitution of Afghanistan has given men and women the same status before the law. However, realizing this provision of the constitution is faced with numerous challenges in Afghan society as a traditional society. Anyhow, Afghanistan shall push for realizing the equality of men and women if it wants a prosperous society. To this end, Afghanistan must continue to strengthen its efforts to contribute in a measurable manner to an increase in girls’ and women’s agency, voice and participation in social, economic and political life.