OSCE meeting in Vienna highlights women’s rights in Afghanistan

On June 3, high-level representatives and experts convened in Vienna for a special meeting of the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group, organized by North Macedonia, to address the urgent issue of Afghan women’s rights. The gathering underscored the significant implications for both regional and global stability.

The meeting focused on actionable strategies to empower Afghan women and alleviate the challenges they face. Participants highlighted severe obstacles in accessing education, healthcare, and employment, emphasizing the broader impact on regional security. The OSCE has been at the forefront of advocating for Afghan women’s rights, with initiatives targeting education and employment among other critical areas.

One such initiative is the Response to the Implications of Afghanistan in the OSCE Region (RIAOR) programme, which addresses gender equality and women’s empowerment in Central Asia. Key projects under this programme include Women’s Resource Centers (WRCs) in Tajikistan, efforts to promote women’s economic empowerment in the energy sector, and the Young Women for Peace Initiative for Central Asia. These projects aim to empower Afghan women through education, leadership training, and advocacy.

Speakers at the meeting stressed the importance of sustained international support and cooperation to promote gender equality and empower Afghan women as essential components of sustainable development and peace. The OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security and commitment to gender equality were reaffirmed.

The meeting concluded with a call for continued action and solidarity from the international community to support Afghan women and girls. By sharing best practices and reinforcing collaborative efforts, the OSCE and its partners aim to foster a brighter and more equitable future for all.