U.S. Army Sgt. Brian Bentley and U.S. Army Spc. Zech Burke, both cavalry scouts with 1st Plt. and a Bennington, Vt., resident, along with several Afghan National Policemen help unload (click for more)
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Army Paul M. Gatto, from Bethlehem, Pa., a cannoneer from Task Force Balls, elevates a M777 howitzer and hooks up his firing lanyard seconds before discharging (click for more)
PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Air Force Capt. Phillip Baker, Panjshir PRT engineer, along with Air Force 1st Lt. Jason Adams, Panjshir PRT engineer, assemble an antenna in order to communicate (click for more)
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan — While spectators watch, members of the Sharana Hospital volleyball team play a friendly match against coalition force units at Forward Operating Base Rushmore Oct. 2. (click for more)
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Soldiers with 1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Spartan, help Afghan Border Police load blast wall barriers onto the (click for more)
Maj. Bobby Mayes, women’s empowerment coordinator, and Sgt.1st Class Maureen Houston, FET member, meet with Zareen Saleha, the Deputy Director of Women’s Affairs for the Parwan Director of Agriculture, Irrigation, (click for more)
U.S. Army Cpl. Robert F. Chauncey, from McKinney, Texas, a team leader with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Spartan, takes part in a pre-flight inspection of (click for more)
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. troops from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team use a measuring tape to measure the distance of one point (click for more)
KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan National Army basic trainee receives a vaccination Sept. 28. (click for more)
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields’ Female Engagement Team, in conjunction with the Nangarhar Department of Women’s Affairs, hosted a provincial women’s shura at the governor’s compound Oct. 14.
“A shura is a coming together of people. Once we have everyone together, the most important thing is to speak to each other and pass ideas back and forth,” said U.S. Army Maj. Jocelyn Leventhal, a Port Murray, N.J., native and the PRT executive officer. “As we speak, we start to understand the issues that face all of us.”
The historical event brought together women leaders from the province and its 22 districts for the first time to discuss women’s issues.
The purposes of the shura were to establish a communication network between the women of Nangarhar and to bring together women of all entities.
The shura formalized a partnership between the department of women’s affairs and Nargis Radio. Nargis is an all-female radio station exclusively broadcasting women’s programming. It is the only radio station in the province by women, for women.
According to the Asia Foundation, less than 13 percent of women in Afghanistan are literate. Reaching women and providing them with information, opportunities and education can be a challenge. In a male-orientated country, the radio station provides Nangarhar with a unique tool to reach the female population of the province and to connect women with their government leaders.
“We are working for you. We want to help you in all areas to include education, health and your families,” said Anisa Emrani, provincial director of women’s affairs. “Nargis is your voice and can reach all your sisters.”
“Don’t be shy. Let your voice be heard,” said Gul Lay, a Nargis employee. She pleaded with the women of Nangarhar to use the radio station’s call-in programs to get their issues heard. “We can carry your voice to the department of women’s affairs and to the coalition forces.”
In addition to district and provincial women, other entities attended the shura.
“We have the entire circle here today,” said Leventhal. “We have the leaders from the district; the provincial government; the voice, Nargis; the media and international donors.”
The government and the department of women’s affairs are the main problem solvers for any issues the women may face. Nargis, the media and international donors can aid in the solution, she added.
All groups present pledged their support to women’s issues and urged the women to stay connected and be involved.
The provincial governor’s spokesperson, Abdul Zai, said he was happy to have the women gathered at the governor’s compound. All women in the district need to work closely with the department of women’s affairs and Nargis. Together, they have the potential to solve women’s issues and improve the quality of life for all women in the province, he added.
To tie the shura together, the PRT provided Nargis Radio with hand-crank radios for station employees to distribute to the attendees. The radios allow the district leaders to listen to the station for updates on women’s issues and opportunities, stay up to date on what their government is doing for them, and allow them to call the station to report what is happening in their districts during call-in programming.
The shura was a first step for the FET members to engage women in the province. The next steps are to bring the women together on a regular basis in a more intimate setting with very specific agenda items. The women need to be able to cross talk, discuss the issues and work on the solutions with women from across Nangarhar and their government officials, said Leventhal.
The FOB Finley-Shields FET is comprised of military and civilian women from the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team, Missouri Agribusiness Development Team IV and the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne.
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KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan villagers and coalition forces repelled Taliban forces Oct. 8 in Afghanya Valley during an attack that lasted nearly three hours.