Today, ActionAid celebrated the centenary of International Women's Day by inviting four extraordinary female politicians from Afghanistan to share their achievements and the daily challenges they face as Afghan MPs.
Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone MP met with our Afghan visitors at ActionAid to hear why her new post as Champion on International Violence against Women is so important. This is a role ActionAid has long campaigned for to give a voice to thousands of women who face discrimination and violence around the globe.
Habiba Sarobi is the only female governor in Afghanistan. She has survived numerous threats to her life and violent opposition simply doing her job in Bamiyan province. Shinkai Karokhali, a renowned women’s rights activist and active elected member of the Afghan Parliament has played a key part in promoting women’s rights in the Elimination of Violence against Women bill and the National Plan of Action for Women in Afghanistan. Elay Ershad is a member of the Afghan Parliament and Asila Wardak is the Director of Human Rights and Gender in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Afghan Government.
All four recognised the uphill battle faced by women striving to engage in political and public life and underlined how important a proper education for girls is essential in helping them to have an income, understand and fight for their rights.
ActionAid continues to call on the government to put violence against women at the heart of its foreign policy. Violence against women affects 6 out of 10 women worldwide and is a barrier to their participation in the political and public life of their countries and communities.
Richard Miller, ActionAid UK Executive Director said:
“We are really pleased that Lynne Featherstone has chosen to meet Afghan women at the forefront of the fight for women’s equal rights on the centenary of international women’s day. We hope she will continue to use her role as Champion on International Violence against Women to amplify the voices of women around the world who face violence as a consequence of participating in the political life of their countries, and make sure they are heard at the highest levels of government.”
photo : ©Marck Chilvers/ActionAid