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Rula wants gap in rural-urban women bridged

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first-lady-of-afghanistanFirst Lady Rula Ghani on Thursday said Afghan women should not be respected solely because they were women, but also as decision-makers and responsible individuals.

Speaking at a gathering ahead of International Women’s Day in Kabul, Rula Ghani said despite the decades-long conflict and insecurity, the Afghan women had been able to perform their social duty in an effective and best possible way.

“With less in hand, women take care of their families, raise educated children, and graciously bring about calmness to the atmosphere their families live in,” she added.

Apart from domestic responsibilities, the first lady said women also had social responsibility outside their homes. It was their right to work in areas of their interest and their decisions should be respected, she said.

Rula said the changes the women witnessed in Afghanistan over the past decade had been encouraging and for further successes, their domestic as well as societal role should be venerated.

“There is still a major gap between rural and urban women. It is necessary to support all women equally so they could thrive together. Women can study, work and own wealth,” she stressed.

Sayeda Muzhgan, acting women’s affairs minister, said many effective laws and policies had been approved to improve women’s situation during the past 13 years.

However, she added the gains were still not enough. Given the challenges of insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and inappropriate customs, more attention should be given to bringing improvement to women’s lives, she said.