- Key areas of success for the improvement of the lives of women have been in the spheres of political participation, education, and health. As we finalize results for our second parliamentary election, we recall that last month, millions of Afghans went to the polls to make their voices heard. In these recent elections, 406 out of 2,556 candidates were women. This compares with 328 women candidates from 2005 and ensures that women will at least fill all 68 seats, or 25%, allocated for women and will likely win additional seats. Women will fill at least a quarter of the Afghan parliament, nearing our MDG goal of 30%, and make up 18% of government employees. There are now over 1,000 women in Afghan National Security Forces. We plan to increase the number of women in the Afghan National Police to over 5,000 in the next five years. The presence of women in these crucial positions has made a significant impact. We are proud of their resilience and bravery in protecting our population.
- The Commitment of the government of Afghanistan and support of the international community have been the crucial factors for the achievements of women in the last decade. During the London and Kabul Conferences, in January and July of this year, were affirmed our commitment to protecting the rights of women. As the country is moving towards seeking a new political framework for peace and reconciliation, it is vital to make sure that these achievements are sustained and the rights of women are protected in the future.
- Resolution 1325 is not about rescuing women. It is not only about helping women who are struggling to overcome conflict, but about recognizing the unique role of women as peacemakers, and creating opportunities for women to excel in leadership roles. What better place in the world to demonstrate the importance of this issue than Afghanistan. Afghan women are not damsels in distress. They have been victimized, but are not helpless victims. They have their own ideas about the needs of women in their country and must be listened to and supported on their paths to self-empowerment. Honoring Resolution 1325, and subsequent resolutions 1820, 1888, and 1889, is not only a commitment of the Afghan government, but it is a necessity. While women are generally the first to be affected by conflict, let us all look forward to witnessing women as those who are the first beneficiaries of peace.
Commitments made October 26, 2010 (see SC Open Debate)
- Afghanistan plans to increase the number of women in the Afghan National Police to over 5.000 in the next five years.
- In terms of the Afghan reconciliation process, we are committed to the continued participation of women within the recently established High Peace Council in order to facilitate negotiations while women’s rights will remain a priority in this process.
- Afghanistan is committed to further working with UNIFEM toward completing the CEDAW report in the near future.
Commitments made via commitments form, September 2010