Deputy Chief of Mission Participates in a USIP Working Group Discussion on Women's Rights in Afghanistan

Kelsey Glover

Deputy Chief of Mission, Minister Faqiri participates in a working group discussion on Afghan women at the United Sates Institute for Peace.

December 18, 2013

WASHINGTON—Deputy Chief of Mission Minister Ahmed Zahir Faqiri addressed the diplomats, civil society, and university students on the current condition of women's rights in Afghanistan and on the achievements thus far.

Additionally, DCM Minister Faqiri gave a brief overview of the current situation in Afghanistan and what the future holds at such a critical time in the country's development. He highlighted the importance of education for women and urged the US universities to offer more scholarships to both Afghan girls and boys.

Education is important for everyone, but it is especially significant for girls and women. This is true not only because education is an entry point to other opportunities, but also because the educational achievements of women can have ripple effects within the family and across generations. Investing in girls' education is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty. An investment in secondary school education for girls yields especially high dividends.

Educated women can recognize the importance of health care and know how to seek it for themselves and their children. Education helps girls and women to know their rights and to gain confidence to claim them. The education of parents is linked to their children's educational attainment, and the mother's education is usually more influential than the father's. An educated mother's greater influence in household negotiations may allow her to secure more resources for her children.

Closing the gender gap in education is a development priority. Mr. Faqiri mentioned two focus points during the discussion:

•Proper Engagement and commitment of our home media (TV, radio, newspapers, and films), which have the power to influence public opinion. Afghan media should be used as an educational device.

• It is essential to focus on female political actors at national, sub-national and local levels, capacity building and advocacy strategies to enable them to attain a critical role in high-level decision, policy, and law-making positions in key government institutions; and to accomplish their significant political and social responsibility.