A Mandate to Mainstream: Promoting Gender Equality in Afghanistan


Larson A., 2008. A Mandate to Mainstream: Promoting Gender Equality in Afghanistan. Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU).

Author: Anna Larson


“This paper contends that gender mainstreaming, as the government’s principal strategy for promoting gender equality in Afghanistan, is not being substantively implemented in the Administration at present. Equality is an ambitious, transformative goal, but efforts to achieve this end through mainstreaming gender issues have been (as in other contexts) largely incremental. This paper explores possible reasons for this and gives recommendations as to how mainstreaming, as a potentially valuable tool, could be more effectively executed. 
Members of the civil service widely perceive gender mainstreaming as policy imported from outside the country, and do not generally feel they have ownership of its implementation. The word “gender” itself does not translate into Dari or Pashto, and thus is generally considered foreign terminology. This is characteristic of many other aspects of the state-building process in Afghanistan, however, and the lack of translation itself does not significantly obstruct the implementation of gender mainstreaming. 
This implementation could be further encouraged in various ways. Some of these became evident through a comprehensive analysis of gender mechanisms in six case study ministries: Counter Narcotics, Education, Interior Affairs, Justice, Public Health and Rural Rehabilitation and Development. 
The paper begins with an introduction to gender mainstreaming as a global movement. It continues with a discussion of the introduction of gender mainstreaming to Afghanistan through a process of policy transfer and of local perceptions of gender itself within Afghan ministries. It is then divided into two further sections: technical concerns and institutional contexts” (Larson 2008, viii).

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2008

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