Happy International Women’s Day!
Each year, this special occasion is a time for us to reflect and highlight the profound contributions that women make in in the building of peaceful and prosperous societies where citizens of all nations can lead peaceful and dignified lives and achieve their aspirations – for themselves, their families, their nations and above all – for all of humanity.
The involvement of women is critically important to achieving a more secure, peaceful and prosperous world. In that regard, achieving gender equality as specified under Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, should not be seen in isolation to the remaining objectives. A gender perspective allows for the sustained progress of all SDGs and the leadership and views of women is crucial in the development of our implementation strategy in this final decade of action.
The world has witnessed that when women have a proactive role in addressing pressing challenges in their communities, countries and at the global level – the chances of success become much higher and are elevated to new heights. This is a fundamental reality and we must continue to ensure that women from all countries, nationalities and cultures are empowered to the fullest extent and are able to render their contribution as agents of progress and change.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we pay tribute to the patience, strength, and fortitude of all women and girls around the world in helping ensure social, political and economic progress and stability at the local, national and international levels. Women are truly the pillars on which stable and prosperous societies can stand and flourish, and their empowerment remains a strategic priority for all nations around the world.
This special day is also a time to recall the challenges that women and girls continue to face. Cultural constraints, poverty, lack of adequate social and economic opportunities and other problems are lingering challenges that require even greater attention and action in the way forward. This occasion is a fitting opportunity for a reaffirmed global commitment to the protection of women and girls and to further advancing their empowerment in all spheres.
In Afghanistan, the empowerment of women and girls, and their profound contribution in various realms, including in politics, culture, arts, free and independent media, civil society, and the business and private sectors, are an important part of the country’s major transformation into a strong democratic and pluralistic society. The New Afghanistan, built over these past nineteen years of sacrifice and hard work, has seen an unparalleled level of commitment to the advancement of the rights and liberties of Afghan women and girls. Women have risen from years of obscurity to become the leaders of a nation that will continue to stand, protect, and expand on their hard-earned democratic rights.
Moreover, as efforts to achieve a dignified, just and lasting peace in Afghanistan enter a new phase, women will be a strong part of the nation’s unified voice in ensuring an outcome to peace efforts that not only confirm with but will help to further consolidate democracy and pluralism in the country.
Finally, in this opportunity, we also convey our gratitude to the Government of Norway, a historic friend and partner of Afghanistan which, as part of their multi-sectoral support for Afghanistan, remains a committed partner in the area of the advancement and empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan.
In closing, let us rejoice in our success, take account of the continued challenges, and work together for our joint objective of creating an even more equal society for women and girls around the world.
Once again, Happy International Women’s Day!