Kabul, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- The Afghan government announced Monday it will appoint at least one female deputy governor in all its 34 provinces as a part of its efforts towards gender equality and encouraging women’s participation in politics.
The decision, the first of its kind in the country’s modern history, will allow women to serve in senior positions of the government in all the provinces, made up of largely conservative communities that are reluctant to even send their daughters to schools.
“The government (in today’s cabinet meeting) has decided to appoint one female deputy governor in each of the all 34 provinces,” spokesperson for the presidential palace, Sediq Sediqqi, said in a press conference.
Sediqqi added that the cabinet had asked the concerned authorities to start implementing the move across all provinces.
“This is to give a chance to women, to explore their capacity and talent. Their primary mission will be to focus on the problems of women,” Sayed Shah Saqim, spokesperson for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, which is responsible for the appointments of senior provincial officials, told EFE.
Although the percentage of women serving in the government has increased significantly over the past two decades in Afghanistan, most of them are employed mainly in Kabul and a few other cities, mainly due to problems of insecurity and cultural and traditional concerns.
The current decision was made on the suggestion of Acting Women Affairs Minister Hasina Safi, who took to Twitter to thank President Ashraf Ghani and his cabinet for the move that would allow “the appointment of qualified women as deputy governor in 34 provinces.”
Currently, women are serving as deputy provincial governors in only six provinces, and provincial mayors in two, besides another two women as district governors out of the nearly 400 districts in the country, according to Saqim.
The percentage of women in civil institutions of the government in Afghanistan increased from around 22 percent in 2017 to 27.6 percent in 2019, according to the data from the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission.
The recent decision is expected to further increase the participation of the Afghan women in the civil services of the government. EFE-EPA