Today, the United States of America expressed condemnation of the murder of Najia Sediqi, the acting head of women’s affairs in Afghanistan who was murdered on her way to work.
Reports say two assailants on a motorcycle shot to death Ms. Najia Sediqi.
In her remarks today in Washington DC, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States joins the government of Afghanistan in strongly condemning the murder of Najia Sediqi.
Ms. Clinton says Najia was one of the many Afghan women who dedicate themselves every single day toward building a brighter future for the people of Afghanistan.
“The United States will continue to stand side-by-side with women who are carrying on Najia’s fight, the Afghan government and all Afghan people to ensure that the hard-won gains made by women in the recent years are protected and advanced.” – Ms. Clinton
She adds senseless violence like this will only threaten the potential for peace.
“Our thoughts are with Najia’s family during this difficult time.” – Ms. Clinton
The United States has reaffirmed commitment to the well-being and continued progress of the women of Afghanistan.
US considers women of Afghanistan, like the women anywhere, are critical to their nation’s future.
US says Afghan women made remarkable gains of the past decade with the help of the Government of Afghanistan and the Council in empowering women.
In 2001, life expectancy for women in Afghanistan was just 44 years of age and now it is 62 years, Ms. Clinton reported.
Girls enrolment now comprises nearly 40 percent of all primary school enrollments.
Nearly 120,000 Afghan girls have graduated from high school, 15,000 are enrolled in universities, and nearly 500 women are on university faculties, Ms. Clinton underlined.
Maternal mortality, infant mortality, under-five mortality rates have all declined significantly.
In addition, Afghan women helped achieve a constitution that enshrines women’s rights.
Afghan women now hold office at the national, provincial, and local levels.
They serve on the High Peace Council and in provincial peace councils as well.
Afghan women now are opening and running businesses of all kinds and helping to build an effective and vibrant civil society as well.
In ways that often go unnoticed and certainly uncelebrated, the women of Afghanistan are hard at work each and every day solving Afghanistan’s problems and serving her people, she pointed out.
The United States goal is to get Afghans talking with other Afghans about the future.
One of US redlines is that insurgents who want to reconcile in the end must commit to abide by Afghanistan’s constitution and the rights enshrined in it, most particularly women’s rights, Ms. Clinton added.
The U.S. role in Afghanistan changes during the next few years of transition, the United States will continue to stand with and work closely with Afghan women.
U.S. Afghan Women’s Council was created in 2002. The Georgetown University has supported it, offering resources to help Afghanistan gain social and economic stability through one of the country’s chief assets: its women.
The focus of the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council has been to empower Afghan women through educational opportunities, skills training, improving political and legal participation, and access to medical care.
The U.S. Afghan Women’s Council supports programs ranging from small businesses and microcredit to teacher training in American universities. An example of entrepreneurship is Arzu Inc., which trains women in the traditional art of carpet weaving to generate income for their families. Workers are compensated at more than the prevailing rate and given health care.