Afghan Women Participate in Herat Seminar to Boost Women’s Representation in Government

10 Jun 2013

imageUNDP Afghanistan : Women work to create a gender committee at a Herat seminar designed to boost female participation in government.

Herat, Afghanistan - The Herat Provincial Governor Office and regional office of the Civil Service Commission launched a one day seminar for more than 100 female civil servants and members of civil society to increase the effectiveness of women in government and to support gender mainstreaming across the public service.

Civil servants representing 46 line departments and eight districts and influential women from civil society participated in the day-long seminar, which was supported technically and financially by the UNDP’s Afghanistan Subnational Governance Programme and the National Institution Building Programme.

The conference agenda and results support the gender objectives of Afghanistan’s Constitution and National Development Strategy, and the National Action Plan for Women of Afghanistan, which identifies gender equality and mainstreaming as key cross-cutting themes in achieving equitable growth and sustainable development The seminar educated female civil servants on Afghan civil service policy and procedures, and outlined professional opportunities for women in the public sector.

The seminar also established gender focal points in all line departments, promoting collective responsibility for inclusion of cross-cutting gender issues in governance and public service delivery facilitation at local level. Seminar speakers said the seminar helped boost the representation of women in government and the civil service, and would help contribute to more transparent and effective government and service delivery.

The Director of Women Affairs, Ms. Mahbooba Jamshidi, said that “We will not have the desired social-justice in Afghan society until we ensure the full participation of women in government.”

“This seminar and its outcome, the establishing of a gender committee, is very important for increasing women’s participation in the government and strengthening their role in society,” she said.

The Deputy Governor of Herat Province, Mr. Asel-ud-din Jami, also told participants that greater female participation and gender mainstreaming in the civil service would reduce corruption.

“I did not yet witness any women civil servant being accused of corruption, thus if we support enrolling more women in government entities, we may contribute to a decrease in the level of corruption in the country.” The Director of the Civil Service Commission in the Western region,

Mr. Abdul Salam Salam, said, “This seminar will serve as a catalyst for better service delivery by women civil servants and encourage more women to join the civil service and work for their government.”

At the end of this seminar the participants established a gender committee with representative members from all ministerial line departments.

UNDP will continue to support gender equity and women’s inclusion in sub-national governance.