Contributions of Afghan women recognized at Human Development Report launch

11 Feb 2016

Contributions of Afghan women recognized at Human Development Report launch

KABUL - More than 200 civil society activists, government officials, journalists, students and UN officials gathered to launch UNDP’s Human Development Report in Kabul and discuss how work, and especially the contributions of women, are linked to human development.

Those speaking at the event included UNDP Country Director Douglas Keh; UN Resident Coordinator for Afghanistan Mark Bowden; ILO Representative for Afghanistan Manzoor Khaliq; Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development Nasir Ahmad Durrani; and Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Ahmad Shah Salehi.

Mr. Keh shared highlights of the report and explored how work and human development are interlinked. He referred to “work” rather than “paid jobs” as an important factor in development, recognizing the contribution of women who contribute to human prosperity.

“The work women do at home should be valued,” said Mr. Keh, emphasizing the finding in the report that there are significant gender imbalances that need to be addressed.

Mr. Bowden said the private sector is important for creating jobs, and stressed that women should be proactively engaged in the labour force. “I’m happy that the United Nations and the Afghan government are committed to fixing the worsening situation of employment in Afghanistan, though it is a huge challenge to face,” said Mr. Bowden.

"This latest report goes beyond the conventional meaning of work and employment and extends to care work, voluntary work, creative work and more,” said the UN Resident Coordinator, who is also the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.

The 2015 Human Development Report is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports published by UNDP since 1990 as independent, analytically and empirically grounded discussions of major development issues, trends and policies.

The report takes a broad view of work, going beyond jobs and taking into account such activities as unpaid care work, voluntary work and creative work. Of the world’s 7.3 billion people, 3.2 billion have jobs, and others engage in care, creative and voluntary work or prepare themselves as future workers. Nearly 830 million people live with less than US$2 a day; 200 million are unemployed; and 21 million are engaged in forced labour.

Afghanistan ranks 171 in 2014 on the Human Development Index, scoring higher than 17 countries in the world including Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Ethiopia and Gambia.

The UN General Assembly has officially recognized the Human Development Report as “an independent intellectual exercise” that has become “an important tool for raising awareness about human development around the world.”

The latest report can be downloaded here.