Afghan Women's Affairs Minister says implementation of rights is key

Afghan Minister of Women's Affairs Habiba Surabi said in an interview with Iranian state radio's Dari service on 27 February that the 1964 Afghan Constitution, on which the future Afghan constitution is to be based, "does not contain any article saying women's rights should be ignored" and expressed her concern that women's rights stipulated in the future document will not be implemented. Surabi also criticized the Afghan legal system, saying it does not "always meet the expectations of women." She added that Afghan culture and traditions play the greatest role in preventing women from gaining their rights. AT

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Andrew Natsios announced on 27 February that the organization will provide funding for the rehabilitation of 1,000 schools across Afghanistan over the next three years at an estimated cost of $60 million, according to USAID's press office. The initiative will also provide for the printing of up to 15 million textbooks and the training of 30,000 classroom teachers, the report added. "As President [George W.] Bush has repeated, the American people believe strongly in making continued investments in Afghanistan's future," Natsios said, adding that in "village after village that I visited in Afghanistan, the people told me the hope for the future was their children. And that meant education." Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. AT


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