Nangarhar educators strategize on ways to improve women’s rights
JALALABAD - A group of educators in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar say investing in public education on women’s rights is crucial for helping to eliminate violence against women and girls.
The event, which was organized by UNAMA’s Jalalabad regional office, brought together 35 female educators from girls’ schools around Nangarhar.
During the discussion, participants underscored the need for more public awareness on gender equality, the rights of women and the law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW).
“I did not know about the contents of this law; I have never seen it before,” said Rushan Akhunzada, a teacher from Jalalabad and one of the participants at the event. “Everyone should have a copy of this law at home so that men and women in the family can read it.”
Another teacher said that knowledge of the EVAW law, especially among men, would serve as a major deterrent to violence against women. “Domestic violence is not seen as a crime in our communities,” she said. “If men are taught that violence against women is a punishable crime, they will not commit it.”
While Afghanistan has achieved notable gains in terms of women’s rights and empowerment through programmatic initiatives and new legislation, efforts to bring durable change to women, especially in rural areas, have not resulted in lasting change.
Across Afghanistan, violence against women and girls remains prevalent, largely as a result of harmful traditional practices and cultural beliefs that create a cycle of illiteracy and inequality.
UNAMA is committed to supporting the Afghan Government’s efforts to enhance women’s rights and is working with a variety of institutions and actors to promote gender equality and non-discrimination, in keeping with Afghanistan’s national action plan for women and the country’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind.
In closing the one-day workshop, participants jointly recommended that more awareness programmes be conducted, including at schools and in districts beyond the capital, where illiteracy and gender-based violence are most prevalent. Participants also said they will share their new knowledge with their students and fellow teachers, carrying the discussion forward.