"In order to have a healthy and discrimination-free society, we must first prepare the ground for both women and men to grow and be empowered, and to work collaboratively with each other for societal development. Doing this requires a significant shift and reorientation in prevailing ways of thinking, and the breaking up of traditions."
A special budget should be allocated by the Ministry of Finance to advance women's rights, including their right to education, health and employment and the proper use of those resources. At present, there is a gender budget at the Ministry, but it is never used to advance activities related to women.
"A major problem is the conservative interpretation of women's status in religion, which views women as a second, inferior sex. Women's presence in society is another challenge. The prevailing norms still see women's employment outside of the home as a shameful thing. On this view, women's work indicates a lack of honor for men."
"Like most other Afghans, I am afraid of a return to the past, to that tension-fueled political, social and religious environment. For now, the positive cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community is keeping that at bay. But if this cooperation ends, we cannot rule out the possibility of returning to the dark days of the past."