Kabul (afviews): Afghan women and men from all walks of life marked the International Women’s Day last week with UNAMA-backed women role models talking to youth in provinces calling for promotion women’s rights and justice.
The City of Herat in west of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul also hosted simultaneously the country’s first international women’s film festival featuring 30 films from around the world from 7 to 9 March. One of the organizers, Roya Sadat, told an audience in Herat that one of the objectives of the festival was “to see the world through the eyes of women”.
One of the role models in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province, Razia Qateh, said that the formula of her success was “not losing hope and not giving up”. The former schoolteacher, college professor and aid worker said she managed to convince even the strict Taliban regime to let her run training and education projects for women.
Also in Mazar-i-Sharif, coinciding with the International Women’s Day, the UN World Food Programme began distributing food package to 1,200 vulnerable women for four months.
In the eastern City of Jalalabad, a female role model, Arian Yoon, met with school students. In her speech she strongly encourages girls to go to school and play a good role in serving their country and the people.
In one of the biggest of such gatherings in Herat province, women from diverse professions including sportswomen, businesswomen, school and university teachers, physically challenged women, policewomen and female journalists paraded in front of audience.
Echoing the message of UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubis, the UNAMA’s head for the country’s western region, Andrew MacGregor, said the women of Afghanistan must play a key role “in this historically significant year of transition when preparations for the 2014 elections and the dialogue on national reconciliation are underway”.
In northeastern Badakshan province, another women rights activist, Maryam Amwaj, said participation of women in political process didn’t just mean to be a member of a political party.
The UNAMA’s head for the province, Tomoko Kubota, said, “I would like to urge more women to work in government departments. Social recognition is not a gift from someone, you need to fight for it.”
Similar events were organized in other provinces including dozen governments’ department in Kabul and other provinces.
Despite all these efforts, many Afghans believe that still Afghan women face a series of probelsm and violence across the country.