How Bonn failed Afghan women

11 December 2011

by Selay Ghaffar

Why Afghan activist Selay Ghaffar came away disappointed from the Bonn Conference

Selay, executive director of  Humanitarian Assistance for Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA), was one of only two Afghan civil society leaders selected to address the Bonn Conference.  She had hoped that the event, which brought together nearly 1,000 delegates from more than 90 countries, would help bring about real change for the Afghan people - and a better future for Afghan women.

But afterwards, she told BAAG that "We were very disappointed ... there was not a clear statement from any of the countries".

She said much more needs to be done to ensure justice and democracy in Afghanistan - and to ensure women's rights.  She stressed that these should not just be "paper" rights, citing the continuing difficulties which women have accessing justice, education, healthcare and public life, despite the adoption of laws and regulations designed to help them.

"We want an ordinary woman to feel that she is not a second class citizen - that she is a human being and has the same rights as the male of the country." she said

Click here to listen to what Selay Ghaffar has to say about the major problems still being faced by Afghan women.