IFES Presents Advocacy Handbook to Afghan Women
To help men and women advocate effectively on behalf of women’s issues, the Handbook for Women’s Rights Advocates has been presented across Afghanistan.
The handbook, a culmination of three years' work developed by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), is a uniquely comprehensive "one-stop shop" tailored to the needs of advocates. It provides a variety of valuable talking points on four key topics from the perspectives of Islamic law, Afghan statutory law and international law:
- Mitigating the gender double standard
- Reducing harmful marriage-related traditions
- Eliminating violence against women
- Increasing access to education
Beginning in Mazar-e-Sharif on June 13 and ending in Kandahar on June 28, thousands of copies were distributed to training participants; women’s rights networks; media; government and elected officials; and hundreds of national and provincial nongovernmental organizations. In the hands of leading advocates and decision makers, the handbook will serve as a valuable tool for increasing accountability in the arena of women’s rights.
“Very important issues have been identified and described in detail in this book, all in accordance with the principles of Islam, Afghanistan’s laws and international conventions,” said Roshan Sirran, a leading women's rights advocate in Afghanistan and IFES’ women’s advocacy training consultant. "All readers can benefit reading this handbook."
Sirran praised the handbook for offering solutions and recommendations to the Afghan government, civil society organizations and religious leaders to improve the lives of women in Afghanistan. In addition, the handbook provides tips on how to advocate effectively, and a list of civil society and government entities working on women’s issues in Kabul, Balkh, Bamiyan, Herat, Kandahar and Nangarhar. According to Sirran, women’s advocacy materials in Afghanistan rarely consider these tips and resources.
Maryam Afshar, a 2012 women's advocacy training participant from Herat said, "In a country where there has been years of war, the publishing of the handbook for women’s rights advocates is a very big step. This is one of the greatest steps forward in human and women's rights. Women's rights problems can be solved with this book."
The full handbook is available in English.