Samangan launches women’s Shuras and starts women’s rights awareness campaign with German help
Women all around Samangan celebrated the launch of the province’s first women’s shura councils on Sunday. Backed by the German Government through Afghan-German Cooperation, the shuras offer women the chance to meet in the capital city of Aybak and throughout districts in the northern Afghan province of Samangan. The councils are led by women and deal specifically with women’s affairs and representing women’s rights in local government. To coincide with the launch, a six-day workshop also began in Aybak today on raising awareness of women’s rights.
The shuras represent women’s interests and can allow greater participation in the administrative level. The aim is to boost the profile of women in politics, both at the grass-roots level and in high-ranking governmental positions in ministries, governors’ offices, and in district governors’ and mayors’ posts, for example. The shuras’ long-term goal is to empower women to take on more responsibility and a greater presence both in political roles and in the public and private sectors, for example in schools, hospitals, business and the media.
The focus of the six-day workshop for women is on women’s rights, specifically in the context of forced marriages. Around 200 women registered for the six days of training, which also acts as the start of an awareness-raising campaign on women’s rights and privileges. Participants include female members of development committees in districts and villages, principals and headmasters of female high schools in Aybak, widows and mothers from martyrs’ families and representatives of the Department of Women Affairs and other governmental departments. Through their work and through the shuras, they will pass on their knowledge to other women in their communities.
The aim of the course is to help improve women’s lives through greater awareness of their rights. Violence against women, family issues and forced marriages are the main topics the course will be dealing with. With the help of a variety of workshop teaching methods, the two trainers will also be teaching the participants about the right to healthcare and the right to education for women.
The cost of the training is AFN 512,200, and the project was approved by the Samangan Provincial Development Committee (PDC). Support for conducting the training has come from the Regional Capacity Development Fund (RCDF) based in Samangan, which is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
As part of Afghan-German Cooperation, the RCDF is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The RCDF provides support for its Afghan partners’ development priorities both on a provincial and district level in six of Afghanistan’s northern provinces. The RCDF also provides training and coaching programmes for civil servants. With its broad range of activities, the RCDF aims to increase Afghan ownership of the development process, strengthen Afghan state institutions on the sub-national level and promote transparency and inclusiveness.
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