By Frozan Arezo
CSHRN home page asked Ms. Suraia Perlika the chair person of All Afghan Women Union (AAWU) and women’s rights activist to share her ideas about access to information program in Afghanistan.
Question : First of all on behalf of CSHRN I would like to thanks you for the interview. My first question is why information plays an important role for our world today?
Answer: Today our world is a world of information. Information paves the way of development in the social economic and political fields. Information facilitates the citizens to make right decisions. I believe information plays an important role in democratization in our societies in all over the world. Information supports us to make rights choices in the right time.
Question: What do you think about access to information in Afghanistan , do you think that access to information is an important agenda for current developments in Afghanistan?
Answer: I believe that access to information is not only a need for Afghan society, but it is an important element for democratization for both Afghanistan and international community who are involved in Afghanistan. During the presidential and parliamentarian elections in Afghanistan we experienced a lot of shortages and difficulties. One of the main reasons of difficulties was the luck of information; the Afghan citizen did not have access to information about the mechanisms, agendas and programs of the candidates and the election commissions. The Afghan people went to the electoral pools without having proper information. This is one of the important examples of consequence of lack of access to information in Afghanistan. We have also a lot of examples on access to information importance in the Afghan society. I think access to information makes citizens aware of their role and obligation in the society.
Question: Do you have any suggestions for improvement of access to information?
Answers: As you know the Civil Society and Human Rights Network has initiated a very useful access to information program in Afghanistan. I participated in the first analytical symposium on access to information in Marzar e Sharif. In this symposium the Afghan experts presented their analytical articles about access to information in Afghanistan . As a member of CSHRN Board I was very happy to see many Afghan intellectuals representative of media and human rights activists in this gathering of Mazar historical city of Afghanistan. I was a witness of constructive collaboration of civil society, local authorities and local communities to discuss jointly access to information issue in Afghanistan . The participants of the Symposium decided to organize a working group to develop the first draft of access to information law in Afghanistan. I think it was a big achievement for this event in Mazar e Sharif city. My suggestion is that the Afghan civil society with the support of international community promotes this excellent initiative of CSHRN.
Question: Do you think that the access to information law is an important tool for improvement of condition for Afghan citizens in access to information?
Answer: I think to legalize access to information can play an important role for access to information of citizens in Afghanistan . Having an access to information law, access to information becomes an important right for citizen and a essential obligation for the state. By legalizing of access to information the state disseminates information to all citizens without requirements of citizens to information. I think access to information law wills strengths the relationship between citizen and the Afghan state.
Question: You, as a human rights and women’s rights defender work a lot with the Afghan women. What do you think about the role of women organization in promotion of access to information culture in Afghanistan?
Answer: I think women are the main victims of luck of information in Afghanistan. Afghan women do not have access to information which makes their life condition more difficult. I believe if Afghan women have access to information they can improve their life in the fields of economic, social and cultural rights. Using this opportunity I would like to ask all Afghan civil society organizations, human rights defenders, women rights activist and intellectuals to support CSHRN initiative toward legalization of access to information in Afghanistan. I hope the Afghan parliament help us to establish a realistic and democratic access to information law in Afghanistan.
Thank you very much for your interview