The issue of discrimination in Afghanistan is pervasive, and the present report focuses on gender discrimination in employment deemed particularly important for immediate policy intervention by the international community. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the measures taken to eliminate gender discrimination in employment since the American‐led invasion in 2001.
The paper is a literature review with potential to inform policy change to improve the employment situation of rural Afghan women. Although there is paucity of data on many facets of Afghan society, this paper synthesises available information regarding measures to improve employment for Afghan women and discusses factors that should be considered in future employment policies.
This paper establishes that many rural Afghan women today experience cultural and religious barriers to employment. The paper argues that much as there have been significant improvements in the employment situation of Afghan women living in cities since the US‐led invasion, rural Afghan women still suffer from inequality in employment. In addition, the paper finds that the barriers to employment opportunities confronting rural Afghan women today stem from existing cultural and religious practices.
The current Afghan Government and international community should pursue policies that would terminate the cultural and religious practices that violate Afghan women's employment rights.
The most valuable part of this paper is the new insight into gender discrimination in employment in the run up to the ten‐year anniversary of the ousting of the repressive Taliban regime. The paper's findings would serve as input for the current government's efforts to address gender discrimination in Afghanistan.
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