Through UNDP’s Support, MoWA Recognises Achievements of Pioneers in Support of Afghan Women
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recognized today the achievements of Afghan women and men as well as organizations which have supported initiatives to provide rights and opportunities for Afghan women and girls over the past twelve years.
The 150 awardees include both male and female individuals who hold key positions in government and in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that played a crucial role in the implementation of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA).
NAPWA was developed in 2008 to translate into action the objectives set out in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and other policies ratified by the Afghan government so that women participate equally with men in all spheres of society and in decision-making, and influence the decisions that will determine the future of their families and their country.
“We are grateful to all the awardees for supporting the rights and equal opportunities for Afghan women and girls. The awards are only a small token of appreciation for their hard work towards implementing NAPWA,” said Ms. Rahima Zarifi, the Policy and Planning Director of MoWA.
The areas that these awardees have worked in include support to women’s skills development, the implementation of programmes to prevent violence against women, provision of legal assistance, ensuring better access to health centres, as well as support to the government to develop and implement policies that take into account the specific needs of Afghan women and girls.
The awardees work at the Supreme Court, Parliament, the ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Women’s Affairs, Interior Affairs, Education, Commerce and Industry, and Public Health; as well as civil society organisations, women’s networks, the media and embassies.
Military General Zarghona Sarmast is one of the awardees. She has provided legal assistance to many women in prison and detention centres. While she was grateful for the recognition, she said that she “considered working for women a personal duty more than a professional one”.
The Ministry of Women’s Affairs and UNDP acknowledge that much has to be done to ensure that Afghan women and girls have equal rights and opportunities to fulfil their potential. However, without the support of the women, men and organisations awarded today, achieving women empowerment and gender equality in Afghanistan will be next to impossible.
- Anusha Ahmadi, Communications Officer for UNDP Gender Equality Project II.