In the name of Almighty Allah
H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the National Unity Government;
Honorable First Lady, Mrs. Rola Ghani;
Honorable Chief Justice;
Esteemed Minister of Justice;
Esteemed National Assembly Members;
Esteemed core diplomatic delegates;
Esteemed Government Delegates and MoFA Colleagues!
At the beginning, I would like to congratulate the establishment of the Afghan Women Diplomat Association by appreciating the initiative by the Human Rights and International Women’s Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other women having a role in its establishment.
One of the international pledges of Afghanistan, as well as one of the important components of the Afghan Government domestic policy, besides putting efforts to provide access for women to their basic and fundamental citizenship rights, is improving women’s position in political power and administration system structure of the country.
Our work for women’s access to basic rights and improving their position in political and administrative structure of the country is not aimed to attract global cooperation and have a project-like view of this issue, but in the eyes of the Afghan political system as an Islamic country, it has deep roots in our religious beliefs.
Meaning that Islam has seriously emphasized the basic and fundamental human rights for women, including education, employment, and ownership rights, and we, as an Islamic society, have to observe them.
Also, one of the main goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is the gender equality as well, and we, as an active member of the international community, if we want to step towards sustainable development, will not achieve prosperity if do not put efforts in this regard.
We all know that the human power of a country and society is considered as a main and most important capital for economic growth and sustainable development in today’s world.
A society and country that wants to achieve economic growth and sustainable development does not have a proper understanding of development and will never achieve them, if forgets to invest on its human power, which half of its population is consisted of women.
The Afghan Women Diplomat Association will assist the Afghan foreign policy apparatus to increase the presence of women, both quality and quantity wise and their effectiveness in decision making.
I would like to mention a few points to women, especially to my colleagues in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Afghan women should not just be satisfied of the positive discrimination which has been taken into consideration for them in the government laws and the symbolic positions of this positive and lawful discrimination.
As we do not allow misogyny and neutralization of women’s role in various levels of the society, there is a serious need for women to utilize this positive and legal discrimination as an opportunity for strengthening and demonstrating their management and leadership capabilities.
I personally believe in the active and effective presence of women in the diplomatic apparatus and am committed to it, and the reason behind proposing Mrs. Adela Raz as the Economic Deputy Minister who is actively present among the leadership of the diplomatic apparatus of the country is the very same.
There are four Afghan Ambassadors in countries like Swiss, Indonesia, Canada, and Norway. We wish to give bold roles to the other women, who are working in important ranks in the country or outside, for the success of the diplomatic apparatus programs.
The benefit of the women’s role in the foreign policy apparatus of the country is to utilize the valuable human power of women in the society, as well as more credibility would be given to the Afghanistan’s international position in the international community and international system.
Unfortunately, in the current situation, one of the indicators for which we are known in the world, is the lamentable condition and violence against Afghan women.
We all know that condemned to violence and deprived of all basic rights women, is not the whole picture of the Afghan women and this society’s reality, but is a part of it.
It does not mean that men had access to their rights but women didn’t.
Afghans have always been deprived of their rights, but women suffered more and their basic rights were trampled.
Nevertheless, over the past decade and a half the situation has considerably changed. We cannot ignore the violence against women, but we must also notice the number of girls go to schools and their access to health care, women who work in government organizations and non government organizations even at the remote areas. These are all positive changes that cannot be overlooked.
In addition to leading four important and key ministries, the presence of women in two national councils of Afghanistan and judicial entities is unique in the region.
The presence of women in the columns of security forces, even in the Special Forces, and their participation in complicated operations of these forces are positive signs that cannot be denied.
None the less, unfortunately the situation is sometimes portrayed ignorantly by some commercial groups in a negative manner.
Yes, there is violence, and it is a reality and we must explain the elements in order to uproot the evil elements, but this reality must not be so exaggerated to overshadow the other part of it that is showing the achievements and progress made by women.
Therefore, I myself believe that the active presence and effectiveness of women at the ministries’ apparatus will help a great deal in changing this view at the world level.
Dear colleagues at the female diplomats’ association,
You have the responsibility to help the ministry create equal opportunities for the afghan Diplomats considering their employment and environmental security. You should also persuade and guide female diplomats how to strengthen their management and leadership capabilities so that they find their special position at the countries’ diplomacy apparatus.
Finally, while congratulating you for the inauguration of this association, I would like to emphasize that the work of the association not only remain at the inauguration level but also be helpful in terms of promoting the level of effectives of female diplomats and the members of the association and to finally achieve the goals that have been set.
We are fully committed to decisively standing beside you in moving towards your goals.