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Afghan women leaders discuss country’s progress in D.C.

in Afghan Business

Afghan women leaders discuss country’s progress in D.C.

A delegation of Afghan women officials led a discussion about the role of the new generation of Afghan women leaders in the country’s progress at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.

They shared their  personal stories and their roles and responsibilities and highlighted the achievements and struggles of Afghan women.

The event was hosted by the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, in collaboration with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security and the U.S. and the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council.

The delegates included:

  • Adela Raz, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Naheed Sarabi, Deputy Minister for Policy for the Afghan Ministry of Finance
  • Ghezaal Habibyar-Safi, Deputy Minister for the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum
  • Shahrzad Akbar, Senior Advisor for the President of Afghanistan on High Councils
  • Naheed Esar, Director of Policy and Analysis for the Administrative Office of the President of Afghanistan
  • Ghezaal Haress Commissioner for the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution of Afghanistan
  • Muqaddesa Yourish, Commissioner of the Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service
  • Zohra Nawabi, member of the Provincial Council of Kabul Province.

The delegates expressed high levels of optimism about Afghanistan’s progress and said the change is slow, but it is happening.

“If I didn’t have the highest hopes, I wouldn’t be here in Kabul,” said Ms. Shaharzad Akbar

They said the media focused more on negative stories about Afghan women and urged the audience not to rely on media’s portrayal of Afghanistan.

“Let’s stop thinking of Afghan women as victims and recipients of help and support that you think they are just survivors, start to think about them as your partners,” said Adela Raz.

“I think the women on this panel are a great testimony for Afghanistan moving beyond the victimization of women,” concurred Ms. Yourish, “We are empowered.”

Raz supported the U.S. recent decision to stand by Afghanistan and said it gives Afghans hope to move forward.

While there has been considerable progress in Afghan women’s lives since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is still ranked second-to-last in terms of women’s inclusion, justice and security.

Despite the challenges Afghan women leaders are working hard to elevate women’s voices.

“We have two jobs: one job is doing our job, our other is doing something for women as well,” said Ms. Akbar.

It’s worthwhile to mention that women account for 28% representatives in the Afghan parliament, far above the 19% in the USA.

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