UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
UN Women is dedicated to advancing gender equality and women’s human rights in Afghanistan. Staff and consultants of UN Women Afghanistan are expected to contribute to a professional working environment in which the strengthening of national capacities and human potential is prioritized. Respect for diversity and human dignity is required, as is the active pursuit of a collaborative and inclusive approach to both internal and external stakeholders, including colleagues and partners. UN Women’s Afghanistan Country Office (ACO) is structured to ensure greater cohesion between the programme areas through three pillars: Eliminating Violence Against Women Pillar (EVAWP), Coordination and Advocacy Pillar (CAP) and Political and Economic Empowerment Pillar (PEEP), in which this position is placed.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GOIRA) has established a robust policy framework on the promotion of women’s advancement and gender equality. Gender equality policies are enshrined in the Constitution, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has been ratified, gender equality targets have been adopted under the Afghanistan Millennium Development Goals and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) contains a Gender Equality Cross Cutting Sectorial Strategy. More importantly, the major gender equality commitments of the government have been put together in a coherent implementation framework, otherwise known as the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA).
As a step in this direction, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) developed a gender policy in August 2012 and a strategic implementation plan for gender policy, which seeks to create an integral role for gender issues within the MRRD’s planning and action. The policy statements serve as guiding principles for the MRRD. The aim of the MRRD Gender Policy is to integrate these efforts throughout the institution and increase the scale required to close the gender gap in relation to economic development and sustainable poverty alleviation.
To meet its strategic goals, MRRD executes activities across the country through its six national development programmes, including National Solidarity Programme (NSP), National Area Based Development Programme (NABDP), National Rural Access Programme (NRAP), National Water Supply, Environmental Sanitation and Irrigation Programme (WatSIP), Afghanistan Rural Enterprise Development Programme (AREDP) and Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development Facility (CARD-F). Each of these Programmes’ strategies and approaches have been formulated and designed in line with the MRRD strategic intent in order to pave the ground for the accomplishment of its strategic goals.
The UN Women Political and Economic Empowerment Pillar (PEEP) has been supporting MRRD since 2012 through a Letter of Agreement (LoA) in support of a joint MRRD/UN Women work plan towards ensuring that the MRRD’s commitments to making equal opportunity and treatment to both genders within all the MRRD staff and its beneficiaries are realized. During the last two years, UN Women has supported the ministry in strengthening the capacity of the MRRD employees mainly the gender focal points and gender unit both at central and provincial levels towards mainstreaming gender into rural rehabilitation and development. The new Joint MRRD/UN Women Work Plan for the years 2014 – 2015 involves gathering data on the impact of gender interventions of MRRD towards improving evidence based data and information relating to MRRD’s gender policies and strategies