HERAT – Raising awareness and promoting women’s access to services are at the centre of a new joint outreach initiative targeting thousands of marginalized women in remote areas of Herat Province.
With direct technical support from the regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the Department of Women’s Affairs (DoWA) in Herat formulated its annual action plan, which will be launched this year. The mainstreaming effort focuses on awareness raising and capacity development of women, establishment of vocational training centers and streamlining women councils at a grassroots level in the province.
“To have successful implementation of the DoWA plan in Herat, UNAMA will continue to play its enabling role to involve UN agencies and other relevant actors in supporting identified women’s needs and priorities,” said Adelaide Habonimana, UNAMA Governance Officer in Herat. “The initiative aims to reach women at the grassroots level.”
During a meeting with UNAMA, the Head of DoWA expressed the need for increased engagement with district administrations, women councils and civil society while implementing her department’s prioritized projects for 2017.
“DoWA is preparing to conduct a joint assessment on the situation of women in nine vulnerable districts of Herat,” said Mahboobe Jamshidi, the Head of the Department of Women’s Affairs. “The findings will be presented to provincial and central authorities and involves stakeholders in order to streamline and promote gender mainstreaming in government policies, priorities and plans.”
UNAMA contributes to the strengthening of subnational institutions for effective, transparent and accountable subnational governance and development, taking into consideration gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment as a cross-cutting priority.
UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps the UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.
UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.