The Head of the EU Delegation and the EU Special Representative in Afghanistan Vygaudas Ušackas met today the children from the shelter operated by 'Women for Afghan Women' (28/09/2010)

The Head of the EU Delegation and the EU Special Representative in Afghanistan Vygaudas Ušackas met today the children from the shelter operated by 'Women for Afghan Women'. While touring the premises which offers residential care to children over 5 years and whose mothers are currently incarcerated, he said that promoting and defending the rights of children remains of utmost importance to him. This was followed by a meeting with a group of women parliamentarians to discuss women’s rights and their participation in the political, economic and social life of the country.

Ambassador Ušackas noted during the meeting that there had been some progress in the field of women’s rights in the last ten years: women hold 25% of the Parliament seats, have improved access to health care and hundreds of girl schools had been established. However, cultural, religious, political, socio-economic, and security factors continue to limit severely the lives of Afghan women.

On the occasion, the Ambassador stated that “the promotion and protection of women’s rights figures highly in EU internal and external policies. The EU has a long-standing commitment to promote gender equality and women’s rights”.

Moreover, during the meeting Ambassador Ušackas and female MPs discussed the preparation for the National Consultative Peace Jirga and the parliamentary elections, expressing hope for women’s active participation. “I look forward to working with women’s groups, civil society and the Government of Afghanistan to promote equal rights and the improved participation of women”.

Ambassador Ušackas is scheduled to meet women civil society representatives next week.

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