‘We are here to support women in protecting their rights, and to raise aware-ness with all of the Afghan people to support their rights to inherit land’
Hussan Bano Ghazanfar, minister for women’s affairs
Zakira, who was forced out of her home when she was widowed 24 years ago,meets the Minister for Women’s Affairs
Zakira was 19 when her parents introduced her to her future husband – a soldier in the Afghan army, which was, at the time, fighting the Soviets. She fell in love and after they were married, she moved into a house built on land that her husband’s family owned.
Three years and two sons later, Zakira was a widow, having lost her husband on the frontlines of the war. His family responded to the tragic development by forcing her out of her home and off the land. Harried and hard pressed, Zakira rented a room without running water and no toilet and set to, raising her boys. Twenty-four years on, she is still there.
Zakira’s story may be harrowing but it is hardly unique. Across Afghanistan, thousands of women suffer a similar fate. This is why USAID’s Land Reform in Afghanistan (LARA) Project organized the first national conference on women’s inheritance and land rights. The conference , which was attended by the Minister for Women’s Affairs, Hussan Bano Ghazanfar, parliamentarians, senior government officials and representatives of Afghanistan’s civil society, discussed women’s right to inherit property.
The conference discussed ways to strengthen women’s inheritance rights, local customs and their impact on women.
For Zakira, who attended, the conference proved to be exceedingly positive. She met the Minister Ghazanfar and told her of her troubles. This led to a promise from the minister that her government would do everything possible to help Zakira.
Afghans Discuss Women's Right to Own