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Ghani stresses women’s role in nation building

Ghani stresses women’s role in nation building

Mar 08, 2017 - 15:25

KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday the increasing role of women in society needed an enabling environment and workplace harassment would not be tolerated.

The president expressed the view during a gathering at Presidential Palace, marking International Women’s Day. He said every Afghan woman played an important role in security, defence, education and culture of the country.

He said the Afghan women had proved how strong they had been despite huge hurdles and barriers. Ghani acknowledged the past 15 years had provided women a preliminary platform to prove their mettle.

Women’s efforts and activities during the past decade helped and more justice was being provided to them as their rights were increasingly respected in society.

Ghani note the time had arrived to work on short and long-term projects that provided women their rights in line with the country’s constitution.

“Until now we saw women actively participating in society while efforts should be made for producing women leaders in the second stage,” the president remarked.

He said Islam provides women rights of property ownership and inheritance -- something that puts Islam ahead of all other laws and civilisations. Islamic jurisprudence accepts women’s rights to property.

Ghani said nation-building and state-building was impossible without an active role of women. The president said despite all-out efforts for enhancing women’s role and presence in all walks of life, men still held vital administrative positions.

He said the establishment of women’s chambers of commerce would be an effective step to include women in supply chain and its administration. “We currently have successful examples in our country, and we could multiply these examples across the country.”  

The president said most of women were busy working on small gardens, where they carried out economic activities. Afghanistan, by expanding such examples, could end reliance on imports and women could be the champions of self-sufficiency.

Creating a secure environment for women was a crucial requirement for their increased participation in community, Ghani believed, saying their security should be ensured through laws and regulations.

“Unfortunately, women who work outside their homes are leered at. Such lewd looks ignore the dignity and honour of women, resulting in misogyny, abuse and other indecent behaviours...”

According to him, women participating in the development of the country and doing household work and raising children had equal value. “We should see the safety of women at home and in workplace as our responsibility.”

He stressed: “Street harassment, eve-teasing, and verbal abuse in workplace or other forms of improper behavior towards women are intolerable.”

Ghani said significant steps had been taken in codification in this regard, and organizations relevant in this sphere had also been established. The culturizing process in this regard should also progress with strength, he added.

The huge step toward ending the oppression of and violence against women gave them a fundamental role in elections, he said, asking women to nominate as candidates and widely participate in the upcoming Wolesi Jirga and district council polls.

Ghani promised the distribution of computerised ID cards would be initiated soon. It was so important for women to receive the ID cards because they helped them achieve their rights, he said.

He asked women representatives in parliament to file a report on females’ rights and let people know what work and activities had been conducted for the improvement of women’s situation.