£18.5m UK funds boost Afghan women voters
Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening the funds would help boost numbers of women voters and their involvement in the political process and provide training to female provincial councillors once elected.
The money would be used to support community-level information campaigns and outreach work to help reduce violence against women and girls, she said in a statement from the British embassy in Kabul.
Greening said: “Despite recent progress on women’s rights in Afghanistan, many still face significant challenges, from physical violence and psychological abuse through to exclusion from the political process. We are helping to tackle the root causes of these issues to ensure that women’s voices are heard."
She added if the election results were to represent Afghanistan as a whole that meant women playing a fuller part, both as provincial candidates and as voters.
Under the new funding, £8 million will be provided to support the 2014 presidential and provincial elections and 2015 parliamentary polls, including to the Independent Election Commission’s Gender Unit.
A further £7.5 million of UK assistance will help to strengthen political institutions and processes in 2014, including providing training to women provincial councillors once they have been elected, in areas including negotiation and leadership as well as constituency outreach.
A further £3 million in initial funding will help to address the root causes of violence against women in Afghanistan. It will provide training for those working in the formal and community-based justice sectors as well as outreach work and support for male religious leaders, educators and Afghan women working to improve awareness of these issues with the Afghan public.
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