– Much has been achieved for women in Afghanistan, but the development is fragile and the country girls still harder than almost anywhere else in the world. They fear being forgotten and that their progress can be negotiated away. Therefore today’s meeting in Oslo very important, says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
The conference “Oslo Symposium on Advancing Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan” is organized in cooperation with the Afghan and US governments. The purpose is to show that the international support for Afghanistan’s women will continue, as well as to set the course for further cooperation. Recommendations meeting will be important for Afghanistan’s reforms and aid planned in the years ahead.
– I am very glad that the new coalition government in Afghanistan have said they will work to improve Afghan women’s life and position in society. Norway strongly support this work together with the US and other partners, says Solberg.
Solberg opened the conference with Afghanistan’s new first lady, Rula Ghani. They both emphasized that improving the position of women is crucial to the country’s development. Solberg drew special attention to education for girls and women as a key to development of the country.
– It has been a positive development for women in Afghanistan over the past decade. Almost half of the students are girls today, before there were none. Last week a new school was opened with Norwegian support for 1000 girls in Faryaab province. Now it is important that the development does not stop or reverse, says Solberg.
Norway has since 2001 contributed over 7.6 billion NOK to Afghanistan via the aid budget. The money has gone to work with education, good governance and rural development.