In address to Congress, Ghani bats for women’s rights
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Batting for women’s rights in his address to Congress, President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday hoped his country would have its first female president.
“I have said in the past that educating one young girl will change the next five generations of Afghans,” Ghani said, reiterating his commitment to women’s rights and guaranteeing them an equal place in polity.
Ghani said women must have the same access to economic opportunities as men. Women’s full empowerment would come about not through global conventions or government programmes, but when they had jobs and owned businesses, he argued.
“I am pleased to state we have fulfilled our promise to name four women to the Afghan cabinet, raising the women’s share to 20 percent. We are determined to name qualified women as ambassadors and to increase their number as deputy ministers,” he said.
Fighting terror: Even as Daesh is starting to gain a foothold in the country, he said, Afghanistan is uniquely positioned to block the spread of extremism.
“Properly supported, Afghanistan is uniquely positioned to block the spread of extremism,” Ghani said in his address to a joint meeting of the US Congress.
Afghanistan’s security transition took place against the backdrop of the unexpected rise of religious extremism in the Middle East. But the changed ecology of terror could not have formed without some states tolerating, financing, providing sanctuary, and using violent, non-state actors as instruments of policy.
“It is critical that the world understand the terrible threat that Daesh and its allied forces pose to the states of western and central Asia. Terrorist movements whose goal is to de-stabilise every state in the region are looking for new bases,” he said.
To date, he insisted, the Afghans had rejected the allure of violent Islam. “But sooner or later extremism will come knocking at our door. The world’s democratic communities must unite to fight against this dangerous form of violence.”
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