Improving conditions for women in the workforce, including responding effectively to workplace harassment, was the focus of a UNAMA-supported event in central Bamyan province.
Around 30 people took part in the discussion, including women’s rights activists, female government officials and women entrepreneurs. They considers challenges facing working women and discussed the way forward in terms of improved working conditions for women in Bamyan province.
Participants noted that challenges facing working women in Bamyan include unimplemented legal provisions relating to labor laws and affirmative action, and the elimination of violence against women. In addition, cultural restrictions limit what women can do outside the home.
Halima Rezayee, a former government employee and currently an entrepreneur, said “Harassment in government departments is one of the main reasons for the lack of interest among women in applying for government positions.”
Participants agreed to propose a set of recommendations to the provincial Gender Equality and Women’s Affairs Committee – a group chaired by the provincial governor and supported by UNAMA, which aims to improve the situation of women at the provincial level. Initial suggestions include specific measures to implement anti-harassment regulations along with training programmes for government employees on gender mainstreaming.
Aileen Villareal, Head of UNAMA’s Bamyan office, said “Women who are economically and politically empowered are best positioned to effect and assert positive change in society and their personal lives.”
“Empowerment shines light on discrimination and abuse, and responsive governance transforms vulnerability to strength,” said Ms. Villareal.