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IAF Editorials
Women are the Pillars of Afghanistan
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By Ashraf Haidari Laura W. Bush’s Oct. 10 op-ed, Afghanistan must embrace women’s rights , in The Washington Post correctly highlights the significant progress the government and people of Afghanistan have made to protect women’s rights. Women have a special place in the Afghan history and society. The largest defeat of the British-Indian forces in the Second Anglo-Afghan War came through the leadership of one heroic, Afghan woman, Malalai of Maiwand. Malalai called out to dejected Afghan troops and carried the Afghan banner before being killed on the battlefield. A woman who rose to patriotic duty during troubled times, Malalai reminds us all of the critical role women must play in securing peace and prosperity for Afghanistan. While Afghan women have gained formal political suffrage under Afghanistan’s Constitution, they are yet to secure equality. However, we know from international experience, including that of the U.S., that achieving gender equity takes time and development of institutions of democracy to ensure protection of human rights on the long run. Hence, the U.S. and other nation-partners of Afghanistan must remain committed to empowering Afghan women as a continual process rather than as a single benchmark, for experience shows us that even legal equality does not translate into equal treatment. Afghanistan is doing its part. The Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs has launched a National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan to continue building on the country’s progress thus far. The question remains, however, if the Afghan government receives the resources it requested from the international community in the July 20th Kabul Conference to make the vision of the Plan a reality. Ashraf Haidari is the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington DC

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Tue, October 19, 2010 09:23 PM (about 110616 hours ago)
The govt efforts in terms of enhancing women rights are somewhat encouraging,but it is hoped that the said key principle is taken in to accounts durig the peace talks with the oppositions!
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