STRONGER WOMEN STRONGER NATIO 2014-09-09آ  AFGHANISTAN omen for Women International is committed...

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  • STRONGER WOMEN STRONGER NATIONS REPORT SERIES

    2009 AFGHANISTAN REPORT Amplifying the Voices of Women in Afghanistan

    ®

  • Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife, and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies.

    We begin by working with women who may have lost everything in conflict and often have nowhere else to turn. Participation in our one-year programme launches women on a journey from victims to survivors to active citizens. We identify services to support graduates of the programme as they continue to strive for greater social, economic and political participation in their communities.

    As each woman engages in a multi-phase process of recovery and rehabilitation, she opens a window of opportunity presented by the end of conflict to help improve the rights, freedoms and status of other women in her country. As women who go through our programme assume leadership positions in their communities, actively participate in the reconstruction of their societies, start businesses, train other women and serve as role models, they become active citizens who can help to establish lasting peace and stability.

    BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    IRAQ

    NIGERIA RWANDA SUDANKOSOVO

    ©2009, Women for Women International

    AFGHANISTAN THESE ARE THE COUNTRIES WHERE WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL WORKS

    AFGHANISTAN

    ®

  • AFGHANISTAN omen for Women International is committed to amplifying the voices of grassroots women survivors of war, taking them from kitchen tables to decision-making tables. The research presented in this report was developed through a collaboration between Women for Women International and the

    Research Partners Consortium of the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Programme at the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom, and combines grassroots access and experience with international expertise and scholarship to mobilise support for women’s inclusion in decisions about Afghanistan’s future.

    Women for Women International is grateful to the individuals who provided the insight, vision and direction necessary to make this Stronger Women, Stronger Nations report a reality, particularly Professor Naila Kabeer, Research Fellow with the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, who provided substantive oversight and technical leadership throughout the research process as part of a collaboration with the Pathways in Women’s Empowerment Programme with support from The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Sadarwali Wardak for his management of the data collection efforts in Afghanistan; Dr. Ricardo Sabates, Senior Lecturer in International Education and Development at the University of Sussex, and Franziska Meissner for their assistance with the data analysis; Daniel Norfolk for his research and writing on Afghanistan’s history and context; and Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart of the Institute for State Effectiveness for their review and analysis of the survey findings.

    Women for Women International would also like to thank Sweeta Noori, Director of Women for Women International-Afghanistan; the UK Board of Trustees, particularly Christine Fisher, Liz Padmore, Anne Greenstock and Diana Saghi for their guidance and support; Judithe Registre, UK Director of Policy and Outreach, for her leadership and outreach; Kate Hohman, UK Policy Assistant, for her research and data support; Brita Schmidt, UK Director of Operations and Commissioner of the UK Women’s National Commission for her policy insight; Danuta Lockett, member of US Board of Directors, for reviewing the report and providing editorial guidance; Rania Atalla, US Executive Director, for providing oversight throughout the research and production process; Natalia Cieslik, Director of Communications, for her review and insight; Lyric Thompson, Policy Analyst, Senait Tesfamichael and Carly Benkov, Research, Policy and Advocacy Interns for their assistance; and Tobey Goldfarb, Senior Research and Policy Officer, and the report’s lead author and editor, for helping to move this project from concept to completion.

    Women for Women International appreciates Barbara Bares, Michael Blasenstein and Alicia Simoni for their editorial support; and Ginny King for the report’s layout and design.

    Finally, Women for Women International thanks the women in Afghanistan who participated in this survey for sharing their priorities, recommendations and hopes for Afghanistan’s future.

    Supported in part by a grant from Foundation Open Society Institute (Zug) and V.G. from Spain.

    W ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    Photo by Lekha Singh

    1Stronger Women, Stronger Nations: 2009 Afghanistan Report

  • CONTENTSTABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from Zainab Salbi and Naila Kabeer ............................................................................................. 4

    Executive Summary .................................................................................................................................. 6

    Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 11

    I. History and Context ............................................................................................................................. 12

    A. Early State Formation .......................................................................................................................... 12

    B. Daoud’s Republic and Soviet Invasion ................................................................................................ 13

    C. Mujahidin Period ................................................................................................................................. 14

    D. Rise of the Taliban ................................................................................................................................ 14

    E. “Post-Conflict” Afghanistan: Reconstruction and Insurgency .............................................................. 15

    II. Status of Women in Afghanistan ...................................................................................................... 16

    A. Custom, Rule of Law and National Policies ......................................................................................... 16

    1. Custom .......................................................................................................................................... 16

    2. Rule of Law and National Policies .................................................................................................... 16

    B. Political Participation .......................................................................................................................... 17

    C. Economic Participation ........................................................................................................................ 17

    D. Violence Against Women ................................................................................................................... 18

    III. International Assistance in Afghanistan ....................................................................................... 19

    IV. Women for Women International in Afghanistan ........................................................................ 20

    V. The Survey ............................................................................................................................................ 21

    A. Survey Participants .............................................................................................................................. 21

    B. Insight From Our Staff Members ........................................................................................................ 22

    Women for Women International2

  • VI. Survey Findings: Life in Afghanistan Today ........................................................... 23

    A. General Outlook and Optimism for the Future ......................................................... 23

    B. Status and Treatment of Women .............................................................................. 24

    C. Government’s Political Responsiveness ...................................................................... 27

    D. Biggest Problems and Obstacles ................................................................................. 28

    1. Insecurity ............................................................................................................. 30

    2. Economic Resources and Opportunities ................................................................. 31

    3. Education .............................................................................................................. 32

    4. Healthcare ............................................................................................................ 33

    5. Political Stability and Governance .......................................................................... 34

    E. From Kitchen Table to Decision-Making Table ............................................................. 37

    VII. Action Agenda ......................................................................................................... 39

    Conclusion ..............................