Women are a powerful force for peace: Gender Perspective conference in Kabul

LTG Camporeale speaking with BG Hekmat Shahi, Director for Human Rights, Women’s Affairs and Children in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior
8 Mar 2019

More than 30 gender advisors assigned to key Afghan ministries, to support roles across the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), and to Resolute Support Train Advise Assist Commands (TAACs) across Afghanistan, gathered at Kabul headquarters on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1 for a Gender Perspective conference.  The participants built understanding of challenges and identified solutions for integrating women into vital roles in Afghanistan’s security sectors.

The conference was organized by Capt. Anne Andrews of the Australian Navy and attended by leaders including Resolute Support Deputy Commander Lt. Gen Salvatore Camporeale; Gender Integration Director for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense Ms. Shahla Abawi; Director for Human Rights, Women’s Affairs and Children at the Ministry of Interior, Brig. Gen. Hekmat Shahi; and Ms. Abeda Osmam from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lt. Gen. Camporeale kicked off the conference with an introductory speech, saying, "Women are a powerful force for peace. They bridge divides between groups and have a unique understanding of society’s needs; because of the influence they wield over their communities and families, they have the potential to increase the security environment and inspire a culture of equality for the next generation.

Topics addressed during the conference included improving access for Afghan women to education and training; building experience and leadership opportunities; creating more inclusive work environments; and developing and enforcing policies which promote fair and equitable treatment in the workplace.  Participants also focused on strengthening opportunities for professional development through the Gender Occupational Opportunity Development Program, a joint project of the MoD and MoI.

There was a shared commitment to address challenges facing women in Afghanistan today, including their increasing responsibilities in families touched by decades of conflict and uncertainty about the future.

Resolute Support advisors continue to support the Afghan people as they develop effective and sustainable institutions, including security forces.  This conference was an indication of the priority placed on creating peace, reconciliation and security through inclusiveness and integration.

A moment of the conferenceSitting in the front row: Gender Integration Director for Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense Ms. Shahla Abawi: Director for Human Rights, Women's Affairs and Children in Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior BG Hekmat Shahi; Resolute Support Mission Deputy Commander LTG Salvatore Camporeale
 
Group photo

Group photo

 

Story by Maj. Gianfilippo Cambera, Resolute Support Public Affairs; photos by SSG Shayla Hakeem and OR-4 Gianni Donsuso, Resolute Support Head Quarters

 

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