Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway Support Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Afghanistan by providing USD12 million to UN Women

Date: Monday, August 5, 2019

[Press release]

Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai
Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

Kabul, Afghanistan — The Government of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway signed a joint cooperation agreement worth USD12 million with UN Women Afghanistan in Kabul, today. The assistance supports UN Women to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan for four years, (2019-2022).

With this support, UN Women will deepen its work with the Government, civil society and the people of Afghanistan in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in four priority areas; directly or indirectly covering 34 provinces of Afghanistan. The Four key priority areas include:

  • ensuring women’s meaningful participation in peace and security including gender in humanitarian action
  • addressing violence against women and girls, through supporting comprehensive services for survivors, and scaling up evidenced based approaches to the primary prevention of violence
  • increasing women’s access to economic opportunities and engagement in the economy, and
  • supporting women’s participation in leadership and governance.
H.E Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen Ambassador of Denmark. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai
H.E Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen Ambassador of Denmark. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

This Programme contributes to ongoing national and subnational efforts, and as highlighted by H.E Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen Ambassador of Denmark: “Afghanistan has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, the challenges for women in Afghanistan are massive. Participation of women in all aspects of society is vital and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Afghanistan. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the heart of Denmark’s engagements in Afghanistan. We are pleased to continue our support to gender equality and women’s empowerment through our partnership with UN-Women.”

H.E. Pekka Kosonen the Ambassador of Finland. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai
H.E. Pekka Kosonen the Ambassador of Finland. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

The programme remains pivotal in contributing to broader national outcomes and will also ensure inclusiveness of vulnerable populations as H.E. Pekka Kosonen the Ambassador of Finland highlighted: “Gender equality is the cornerstone of well-being, education and working life. Finland is privileged to support gender equality and women’s meaningful participation in decision-making and peace processes in Afghanistan through our partnership with UN Women. We are particularly glad that the program now includes the participation of women with disabilities.”

H.E. Tobias Thyberg, the Ambassador of Sweden. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai
H.E. Tobias Thyberg, the Ambassador of Sweden. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

At this critical moment when peace processes are on top of the agenda, interventions under this programme will also aim at increasing the meaningful participation of women in peace processes at all levels. This was re-echoed by H.E. Tobias Thyberg, the Ambassador of Sweden highlighting that: “Sweden is proud to support the important work of protecting and promoting women’s human rights in Afghanistan. Therefore, we are pleased to partner with UN Women in their work with implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security”.

H.E. Kjell Tormod Pettersen, the Ambassador of Norway. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai
H.E. Kjell Tormod Pettersen, the Ambassador of Norway. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

Similarly, H.E. Kjell Tormod Pettersen, the Ambassador of Norway underpinned the important role women can play in peace process, and noted that: “Participation of women in the peace process is a prerequisite to achieve a sustainable peace and preserving women’s rights is a condition for a prosperous future Afghanistan.”

Thanking the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden for their support and cooperation with UN Women, UN Women Representative in Afghanistan, Ms. Aleta Miller, said:

(from left) Ms. Aleta Miller, UN Women Representative in Afghanistan and Ms. Spozhmai Wardak, Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai
(from left) Ms. Aleta Miller, UN Women Representative in Afghanistan and Ms. Spozhmai Wardak, Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs. Photo: UN Women/Nangyalai Tanai

“The contribution allows us to deliver on our mandate to support women, and the women’s movement, across Afghanistan, and to work with Afghans to create a society where women and men participate and benefit equally in their endeavours for a peaceful and prosperous society.”

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

 

For more information, please, contact:

Nangyalai Tanai
Email: Nangyalai.tanai@unwomen.org | Tel: 0728419934