Interview with Ms. Roshan Sirran, Member of CSHRN Board and Head of Training of Human Rights Association for Afghan Women
By: Frozan Arezo
Question: What do you think about the role of women in the new cabinet of Afghanistan?
Answer: I believe the role of women in the new cabinet is very passive. When I looked through the list of new nominate ministers I got upset and I asked my self a question; are the Afghan women really so weak not to manage or not to lead the ministries in the Afghan government. There are a lot of people who asked themselves the same question. I think the answer is clear. There are a lot of capable women in the Afghan society. During the past 8 years we have been witnessed the growth of many capable Afghan women. These women work in the political, social, economic and cultural fields. However they don’t get the possibility to reach political and managerial position in the government.
Question: According to you the Afghan women have the capacity of management; however they do not get the chance to be the ministers. What are the reasons for this problem?
Answer: If we look to the modern history of Afghanistan after independence we can see a lot of active women who could lead and manage deferent programs in the state structure. I believe, the Afghan women can do it today. We have a lot of distinguished women who can mange and lead the ministries such as Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health Care, Ministry of High Education, Ministry of Parliament affaire and many other areas, but the lack of commitment creates barriers for such a goal.
Question: If you believe that the society is ready to accept women leadership and management then what are the main challenges?
Answer: We have a lot of challenges; one of the main challenges is discrimination against women in the Afghan political structure. The Afghan State ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women , the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention Social, Economic and Cultural Rights. The Afghan Constitution supports the equality of men and women in the society. The Islamic values also encourage society to respect equality of men and women in the society. Having said that I believe there shouldn’t be any problem for creating a strategy for the gender equality of the new government, but unfortunately the extremist and fundamentalist still play an important role for disturbing of the role of women in political structure.
Question: What to do to overcome these challenges?
Answer: My immediate answer is the following: First, the national assembly should pay especial attention to gender issues during the approval pf the new government and secondly the Afghan civil society, intellectuals, human rights and women rights activists should advocate for more active role for the women in the political structure of Afghanistan.