Education essential for advancing, protecting rights of rural women

5 Apr 2018

Education essential for advancing, protecting rights of rural women

SHUHADA - Community leaders singled out education as being the key to protecting and advancing the rights of women, particularly those living in rural areas, during a UN-backed event in Shuhada, a district in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.

The event, recorded by local radio for broadcast, drew residents from five rural districts east of Badakhshan’s provincial capital of Faizabad to discuss strategies for improving community awareness about gender equality and the rights of women in the province.

During the lively discussion, led by government officials, women and teachers, participants underscored the importance of education, saying it is a long-term measure for protecting and advancing the rights of women

“We need education and other opportunities,” said Rahila Nezam, a resident of Baharak district, citing illiteracy, unemployment and poverty as major drivers of violence against women in her district. 

Women in Badakhshan, as in other rural parts of the country, face many challenge — including underage marriage and other harmful traditional practices — that undermine their human rights and hinder their personal development.

The UN in Afghanistan supports the government’s stated efforts to strengthen the implementation of gender commitments in compliance with Afghanistan’s international obligations, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, along with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative.

“We need to do an assessment of specific issues faced by women in each district” said Ghulam Farooq Baheej, District Governor of Shuhada, adding that such information would help individual districts create effective and targeted public awareness campaigns.

With the support of UNAMA, the event was broadcast to an audience estimated at 150,000 people in and around Faizabad by local broadcaster Banowan Radio as part of a country-wide outreach initiative aimed at creating platforms for local communities to engage in dialogue on key issues.

Badakshan is Afghanistan’s most northeast province, sharing a border with Tajikistan, Pakistan and China. The province, mostly rural and mountainous, was a stopover on the ancient Silk Road trading path.

UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.