New radio series features Afghan women working to change their communities
BAMYAN - A new UN-backed radio series is promoting Afghan women’s public participation and leadership responsibilities in the central highlands province of Bamyan.
Designed to promote discussion and inspire change, the radio series features the work of several high-profile women, who talk about their career challenges and successes in the interest of inspiring girls and young women to make similar vocational choices.
One such woman, and the first to be featured in the new series, is Hakima Alizada, a defence lawyer and the head of women’s affairs in provincial office of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Speaking during the first episode aired by local broadcaster Nasim Radio to an audience estimated at 60,000 listeners in and around the provincial capital, Alizada called on young girls to pursue their education as an effective starting point that can enable them to aim higher in their career aspirations.
“In my early days, as the first female defence lawyer in Bamyan, I faced and overcame many challenges,” said Alizada, who described how she graduated from Herat University and then worked to defend women’s rights, litigating cases of domestic violence, discrimination and abuse.
She called on young people, especially girls, to be “agents of change” by getting involved in community initiatives, seeking out leadership opportunities and supporting peace-building and development initiatives.
Organized by UNAMA’s Bamyan regional office, the radio series will feature many other role models, all of them Afghan women, and is part of a country-wide outreach initiative aimed at creating platforms for local communities to engage in dialogue on key issues.
Bamyan, well-known for its archaeological monuments, is also known for having a generally positive approach to women’s social and political participation. But certain harmful practices and a lack of awareness about women’s rights have hindered the province’s potential to be a standout champion for women’s empowerment.
The UN is committed to supporting efforts by the Afghan government and is working with a variety of institutions and actors to promote gender equality, help reverse inequality and support local programmes aimed at expanding opportunities for women.
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.
UNAMA provides 'good offices' and other key services, including diplomatic steps that draw on the organization’s independence, impartiality and integrity to prevent disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. The Mission coordinates international support for Afghan development and humanitarian priorities.