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Q&A with Afghanistan Deputy Country Director

Communications Officer Amanda Strayer recently sat down with Afghanistan Deputy Country Director to discuss the Men’s Engagement Program (MEP).

Q: What is the men’s engagement program?
A: In our men’s engagement program, we are targeting community leaders, religious leaders, and male family members of our participants to improve or increase their knowledge about women’s rights in Islam, health, social, and women’s economic issues that they face in Afghanistan, keeping the cultural context in mind.

Q: What changes do we see overtime because of this men’s engagement program?
A: I would say more participation of women in our program without restrictions, and higher attendance in the classes. Women can more easily visit clinics. They may have the right to speak up in their families. They may have the right to [make choices]. And they may have the right to go and work without any cultural restrictions.

Q: What does the men’s engagement program teach men about violence against women?
A: As you know, Afghanistan is an Islamic country, and most of the people in Afghanistan have a strong faith. So, our MEP program is all about verses of the holy book, the translations, and definitions, and hadiths of the Prophet Mohammed. It talks about women’s rights and education, and gender equality from the view of Islam. It reduces family violence since Islam recognizes all of the basic human, social, economic and political rights of women. The Holy Quran has specified these rights and responsibilities in several verses and this strengthens our relationship with communities, and also improves the quality of our program.

Q: What does the WfWI-Afghanistan team want to do in the future related to the men’s engagement program?
A: I would say working on our MEP curriculum and making it more advanced and enriched, and expanding our MEP program in other communities where it is needed. And also looking for more partnerships and opportunities with other organizations if they have more experience in this field, to work together with them to achieve our mission.

Learn more about how you can become involved in Women for Women International’s work in Afghanistan.