Afghanistan Ministry of Women's Affairs Legal Rights Department Receives Long-Term Support through Justice Sector Support Program

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Office of the Spokesman

Washington, DC

January 7, 2010

On Wednesday, January 6, 2010 Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne presented $40,000 worth of office equipment and furnishings to Acting Minister of Women's Affairs Hussan Ban Ghazanfar, Deputy Minister Sayeda Mezghan Mustafawi and Director of the Legal Rights Department Fowzia Amini for the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA).

In addition to the equipment donation, Ambassador Wayne announced the assignment of an Afghan Legal Consultant with the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement/Narcotics Affairs Section (INL/NAS) Justice Sector Support Program who will work in the Legal Rights Department as an advisor. The Legal Consultant will assist daily with active casework, interviewing victims and mentoring attorneys.

INL/NAS purchased the equipment and furnishings for the Legal Rights Department based on an assessment conducted in June 2009 by its Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP). The $40,000 worth of equipment donated ranges from paper, binders, and file cabinets to computers, digital cameras, a copy machine, and desks. The equipment and furnishings will enable the Legal Rights Department to perform its mandate of securing and expanding the legal rights of women and ensuring the rule of law in their lives.

The United States is committed to its partnership with the Ministry and its Legal Rights Department, which provides legal assistance to the 15 million women in Afghanistan and their families, and is the first stop for nearly all Afghans seeking any kind of legal assistance from the ministry. Welcoming the assistance, Acting Minister Ghazanfar said, the support for the Legal Rights Department comes at a "critical moment" for women's issues in Afghanistan.

Over the past two years, the United States has provided over $150 million on programs for Afghan women and children as part of its deep commitment to improving the lives of Afghan women and their families.