In Badakhshan, no role in governance for women
FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Lack of awareness about legal issues and increasing violence against women in northeastern Badakhshan province are a source of serious concern, an official says.
Women do not have a vibrant role in government departments in Badakhshan -- a mountainous 28-district provincethat shares borders with Pakistan, China and Tajikistan.
Women’s Affairs Director Zofnon Hesam Nateq told Pajhwok Afghan News the females’ role in government departments in Faizabad was relatively better than in district offices.
She viewed primitive customs and traditions as a major impediment in the way of women’sprosperity, education, employment and overall development.
Monitoring of human rights and women-related projects in some insecure districts was a huge challenge, she complained. Lack of women judges and attorneys, poverty and family violence are other challenges for Badakhshan women.
According to Nateq, last year 131 cases of violence against women were recorded by judicial organs of Badakhshan. The incidents included murder, rape cases and controversial relationship cases as well as elopements and beatings.
She said they had not recorded exact figures for the current year but violence against girls and women was ongoing and they were also continuing with efforts to raise awareness among people.
The director said women’s role in the education sector was also pale in districts and they wanted to improve the situation for girls as well.Lack of health workers in far-flung areas is another problem women face during pregnancy and harsh winters.
Based on a recent survey, Badakhshan has a population of more than one million, including 172,000 women. About 63,000 of mothers give birth to healthy children, while 9,000 lose their children during or after pregnancy.
According to health officials, an increase in the number of health centres and personnel has contributed to security of mothers and babies.In 2002, 14 health centres were active in the province and currently there are more than 100 centres.
UNICEF says of 100,000 women in Yamgan, Karano Manjan and Tagab districts,6,540 used to lose their lives during pregnancies until 2003.The figures have declined to 237 following the construction of health centres and nursing homes.
The director said women played absolutely no role in government a decade ago, but the situation has changed now.Nateq added 28 percent of women worked in offices in Faizabad and 27 women served at the police headquarters.
In the past one year, 12 awareness programmes were conducted on issues related to women’s rights, elections, peace, education and Islamic rights of females. As many as 1,266 women benefitted from the programmes.
Nateq saidthey had visited women’s prison 24 times and shelters for females in Faizabad 12 times to investigatedifferent problems there.
An economic empowerment scheme and a silk-weaving project were also executed for women in Teshkan district, she added. In the last one year the department implemented many other vocational trainingprogrammes benefitting hundreds of women.
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