USAID’s Rule of Law Stabilization Program – Informal Component (RLS-I) project held several elders’ network meetings in Kandahar City in early September. The meetings’ purpose was to introduce elders to each other from several villages in the Arghandab District of Kandahar Province, and to introduce elders to the RLS-I project’s future activities.
Separate meetings were held for men and women to ensure that elders of both genders could meet and discuss key issues openly. The men’s meeting drew 130 participants and the women’s meeting drew 65. The women’s meeting particular was a success, especially since women sometimes encounter difficulty attending events that involve travel outside of their homes and villages.
During both meetings, elders discussed strengthening community-based dispute resolution, and how their actions as elders and jirga members link to the formal justice sector. Many of the men remarked that this was the first time they had met together as elders from different villages. Many women said it was the first time they had ever attended such an event.