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Women Coming Together in Afghanistan

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The U. S. Military in Afghanistan is hopeful about moving forward social systems, including the role of women.

A story released today from the Bagram Media Center details the first meeting of women leaders in Nangarhar Province. The following is a summary:

This week in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, the U. S. Military hosted a shura for women in the province. A shura is a coming together of people, according to U.S. Army Maj. Jocelyn Leventhal.

Women leaders from the Nangarhar Province and its 22 districts were brought together during a provincial women’s shura held at the governor’s compound in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Oct. 14.

According to the Asia Foundation, less than 13 percent of women in Afghanistan are literate. Reaching women and providing them with information, opportunities and education can be a challenge. The purpose of the shura was to establish a communication network between the women of Nangarhar and to bring together women of all entities.

Nargis Radio helped host the event. Nargis is an all female radio station exclusively broadcasting women’s programming. It is the only radio station in the province by women, for women.


“We are working for you. We want to help you in all areas to include education, health and your families,” said Anisa Emrani, provincial director of women’s affairs. “Nargis is your voice and can reach all your sisters.”

Women from the Nangarhar Department of Women’s Affairs and Nargis Radio give out radios to women leaders

To tie the shura together, the PRT provided Nargis Radio with hand-crank radios for station employees to distribute to the attendees. The radios allow the district leaders to listen to the station for updates on women’s issues and opportunities, stay up to date on what their government is doing for them, and allow them to call the station to report what is happening in their districts during call-in programming.

The few male leaders at the event, including the provincial governor’s spokesperson, Abdul Zai, expressed interest in advancing the Afghani women. A Nargis employee encouraged the women to let their voices be heard in politics and governmental affairs.

The historical event brought together women leaders from the province and its 22 districts for the first time ever to discuss women’s issues. The shura was a first step for the Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields’ Female Engagement Team members to engage women in the province.


Written by Angela Hatton

October 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

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