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MaximsNewsPEOPLE: AFGHANISTAN VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN -- HAMID KARZAI

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Published on Mar 8, 2011

MaximsNewsPEOPLE:08 March 2011 -- UNAMA: Afghanistan - Women's achievements will not be sidelined during ongoing peace efforts, President Hamid Karzai today said as United Nations (UN) senior officials in Afghanistan marked International Women's Day by advocating for the implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women and calling for greater educational opportunities for women and girls.

Addressing hundreds of women and men, including government officials, gathered at Armani High School in Kabul today (8 Mar), Karzai added that "our women are still under pressure and defenceless" and "every Afghan man is still capable of violation against his family."

Senior UN officials in the country, led by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Staffan de Mistura and the heads of UN programmes and agencies in the country participated in the ceremony which included an exhibit from photographers at the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

De Mistura talked about the importance of education in promoting women's rights saying that "if you educate a man, you educate a human being, a man. If you educate a woman, you educate a family."




Today's ceremony marked the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day which occurred this year under the UN theme of "Equal access to education, training, and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women."

According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), about 85 percent of Afghan women are illiterate. About 37 per cent of the more than seven million students enrolled in schools across the country are girls, an accomplishment when looking back that ten years ago there were nearly none, but a reminder that more than half of girls remain absent from classrooms.

Universal primary education is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which President Hamid Karzai and other world leaders agreed to reach by 2015 (extended to 2020 for Afghanistan).

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