Afghans call for investments in women-related projects

March 7th, 2008 - 7:16 pm ICT by admin  

Xinhua
Kabul, March 7 (Xinhua) Hundreds of Afghans Friday joined the UN in events across the war-torn country to call for greater investment in women-related developmental projects ahead of the International Women’s Day Saturday. In the Afghan capital, women and children streamed into the women’s garden where a fair is being organised by a UN agency to mark the day. A film highlighting the realities of the daily lives of Afghan women and children was screened.

Artists from Afghanistan’s mobile mini circus, a local NGO, performed a play focusing on the need to invest in women-related projects in the country. Counsellors from the UN agency provided advice and guidance to women on key issues such as health and education.

In the southern city of Kandahar, the hot-bed of Taliban insurgency, hundreds of women marched in the streets for peace, while women from the north of the country toured the provincial capitals, holding public meetings, involving the provincial governors, women councils, the police, judges and religious leaders.

Bo Asplund, special representative for the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan, said in a statement Friday that despite the progress made in Afghanistan, violence against women continues. Many women continue to die from complications during childbirth and many remain illiterate.

According to the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), women represent 27 percent of the National Assembly in Afghanistan and account for 25.9 percent of all civil servants.

However, only 38 percent of women in Afghanistan are economically independent. Women receive three times less wages than most men and the average life expectancy for women is only 44 years.

A report from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh said: The UN office in collaboration with several organisations urged the youths to send short messages through their mobile phones to promote awareness on women issues.

The message with the theme “Strong Women, Strong Country” is being sent to people across the country to mark the International Women’s Day.

“Young people in provinces across the country are already spreading the text message to their friends, family members, and classmates, requesting them that the message be forwarded to as many men and women possible,” a UN press release said.

According to the International Labour Organisation, women make up 75 percent of the country’s labour force, the highest among the Southeast Asian countries.
Xinhua

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