Mustafa Mastoor, the Minister of Economy, on Sunday said that enough work has not been done for empowering Afghan women economically in the last one decade and that there is a need for women’s further role in the work force.
He said many projects were implemented for empowering women, but a small percentage of them were successful.
Addressing the “First-Ever Regional Conference on Women's Economic Inclusion: From Theory to Practice” in Kabul, Mastoor said 8.5 million out of 15.7 million of the work force in the country are inactive economically of whom 80 percent are women.
The two-day conference was attended by officials from the Afghan government, analysts and experts from India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Pakistan and the US.
Mastoor said that 80 percent of inactive women in economic affairs is a high number.
“We have had limited progress in economic empowerment of women. In the last decade, we had many programs and projects which were focusing on women employment and empowerment, but very few of them were successful,” said Mastoor.
Officials from Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries meanwhile said basic programs have not been implemented on empowering women in the past 17 years.
Chairperson of the women chamber of commerce and industries, Manizha Wafiq, said long-term programs are required to empower Afghan women economically.
“Now it is the time that we should really do more long-term planning and deep planning. And it should be done with women themselves,” said Wafiq
Talking at the event, the American University of Afghanistan’s President Kenneth Holland said one of the most important plans of the United States following the collapse of Taliban regime in 2001 was to empower Afghan women economically.
He said the situation in Afghanistan has improved for women compared with the past.
“As you know one of the major changes that has occurred since the US involvement in Afghanistan in 2001 was the empowerment of women. As you know, under the Taliban regime, girls could not go to school, women could not hold jobs outside their home. The United States and the other members of the international coalition have completely changed that situation,” said Holland.