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​Practical efforts needed to promote gender equality

Graphic: Dr Sima Samar addresses the conference on gender equality

Afghan women must be given equal rights in political, economic and community life, Dr Sima Samar told an AIHRC-hosted conference on gender equality.

Dr Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has told a conference on gender equality that women must be given equal rights in the political, economic and social spheres of the country.

Dr Samar told the conference, organised by the AIHRC and held in Kabul on 11 April 2017, that the government should not use war and poverty as an excuse to deny women their equal rights.

"One of the [Sustainable Development] Goals is the elimination of all forms of discrimination. Any discrimination based on gender should be eliminated," said Dr Samar.

"A second goal … is the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, and the countries are bound to adopt measures to eliminate any form of violence practiced against women," she noted.

"The fight against harmful traditional practices is also important for gender equality. Many of these practices create serious obstacles to women's access to equal rights."

Dr Samar emphasised that women's unpaid work should be respected and valued in the broader society, as well as being recognised in development plans.

She also noted that women's political awareness must be raised so they can vote purposefully, and not based on the preferences of male members of the family.

Dr Samar also highlighted the importance of ensuring that women's access to health services, especially reproductive health services, should be clearly expressed in Afghanistan's plan to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

Delbar Nazari, Minister of Women Affairs, and Abdul Sattar Murad, Minister of Economy, also addressed the conference.

A detailed description of the conference proceedings is available on the website of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Date: 11 April 2017


Image credits

  1. Dr Sima Samar addresses the conference on gender equality - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission