So, today, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of UN SC Resolution 1325, the MOWA supported by medica mondiale - the German women's organisation working on the medical, legal and psycho-social aspect of violence against women, organised a 2 hour event. Participants to this event included the Minister of Women's Affairs and other representatives of the Government of Afghanistan, United Nations agencies, local Afghan women's NGOs, the press and others.
In introducing the event, medica mondiale's representative stated that this 5th anniversary of the resolution is an opportunity for us all to acknowledge the gains made by Afghan women in terms of participation. For example there is a Ministry for Women's Affairs, a new Constitution that promises equality for all Afghans, 3 women Ministers, the first female provincial governor in Bamiyan and a number of women parliamentarians who will take their seats in the next parliament.
Resolution 1325 deals with what we in the business call the 3Ps - participation, protection and prevention. While acknowledging that there have been gains, we must also acknowledge the challenges and gaps that still need to be addressed in terms of protection of women's human rights and the prevention of all forms of violence against women.
The Minister - Dr Massouda Jalal pointed to the importance of Resolution 1325 and highlighted the fact that it is preceded by many international laws, conventions, treaties and others that seek to promote women's human rights and their advancement. Dr Jalal also pointed out that the resolution acknowledges that women are often the first victims in times of conflict.
UNIFEM's representative pointed out that women all over the world are faced by inequality. She said that the point of all these international legislations, resolutions etc is to provide equality for men and women and to create a better life for women. She also highlighted the continuance of forced and child marriages in Afghanistan and the need to take action.
UNDP's representative alerted participants to the work that UNDP is doing in strengthening the capacity of the Ministry in many ways and highlighted the upcoming campaign against child marriage and forced marriage that they are supporting the Ministry with during the 16 days of activism for the elimination of violence against women.
All speakers highlighted the need to work together - men and women, governments and international community, civil society and others - all of us have a role to play to make resolution 1325 and all legislation - national or international work for the participation of women in all processes that affect their peace and security and for the protection of women's human rights as well as for the prevention of all forms of violence against women.
We must not forget the sterling work that Afghan women's organisations are involved with under very difficult circumstances and I am sure they were all with Sweeta Noori in spirit as she gave voice to many of the concerns of Afghan women at the Security Council last week.