FOB Shank provides RSOI training

Soldiers of 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, fire their weapons at paper targets to ensure the accuracy of their sight systems at Forward Operating Base Shank, Logar Province, Oct. 19. (click for more)

FOB Wright servicemembers complete Army Ten-Miler

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Steven Holding of Janesville, Iowa, (left) and U.S. Army Warrant Officer Marty Osmundson, of Des Moines, Iowa, both members of the Iowa National Guard’s 734th ADT, (click for more)

Army sergeant finds his passion in baking

U.S. Army Sgt. Bill McDonald decorates a cake Joint Operations Center’s in the dining facility on Bagram Airfield Oct. 18. McDonald is a 28-year-old Quincy, Ill., native and a baker (click for more)

Female engagement team makes strides in Kunar

U.S. Army Sgt. Latoya Winham, a human resources sergeant with the 64th MP Company, 205th Military Police Battalion and member of the FOB Wright FET from Anniston, Ala., listens as (click for more)

Team Leader Course helps ANA fight illiteracy

Afghan National Army soldiers Mohammed Qasim and Seenatullah, both natives of Takhar Province, study during the literacy block of the Team Leader Course on Forward Operating Base Thunder, Paktya Province, (click for more)

934th FST: Anatomy of the life-saving process

Members of the 934th Forward Surgical Team unload a patient from the back of a field litter ambulance at Forward Operating Base Sharana recently. (click for more)

Cavalry troopers keep pressure on

U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Stallings, 1st Sq., 172nd Cav. Reg., 86th Inf. BCT, from Greenville, N.C., searches for bomb-making materials during an air assault search operation conducted with members of (click for more)

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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Jacqueline Riner, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team communications department officer in charge and member of Forward Operating Base Wright’s Female Engagement Team from Tifton, Ga., introduces herself during the women’s shura Oct. 20 in Asadabad here. The meeting, led by the Kunar Women’s Affairs Director Nasima Sadat, allowed Afghan females to identify issues and discuss solutions directly with members from the PRT, the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team, and representatives from the local battle space owner. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Amy Abbott, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

 

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – In Asadabad, a city located near the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, women are seldom seen outside their homes. But that changed Oct. 20 as a foot patrol predominately made up of females worked its way through the crowded streets headed to a women’s shura.



The patrol included 18 females and a few males, most of them members of female engagement teams at the district and provincial levels from Task Force No Slack. Members from the Army, Navy and Air Force represented, for the first time, a large joint effort that was put together to address women’s issues in Asadabad.

"I think women's affairs are probably the highest priority out here,” said U.S. Army Maj. Mary Parmenter, the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team operations officer and a member of the Forward Operating Base Wright FET from Perry, Iowa. “Education of women and children is what's going to change the future of Afghanistan.”

Around 50 Afghan women joined the females from No Slack, leaving standing room only as they crowded into the Women’s Affairs building, right next door to the Fatima Girls School. The meeting, led by the Kunar Women’s Affairs Director Nasima Sadat, allowed the Afghan females to identify issues and discuss solutions directly with members from the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team, the ADT and representatives from the local battle space owner.

“Their biggest concerns are the lack of female-ran businesses, training, and of course their education level,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christina LeMond, the Kunar PRT civil affairs noncommissioned officer in charge and member of the FOB Wright FET originally from Canden, N.J. “Kunar is very, very traditional. The women are not as free to do the things that other provinces are. Security is an issue, and women’s abuse is also an issue.”

Many programs are already in place to address these issues. There is an established pen pal program with local girls schools, connecting both the students and teachers with other females in the United States.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has sponsored many gender development programs in the area. One of these is the World Food Program’s Food for Education, which gives families of young girls who attend school oil as an incentive to further their education. Education is also being addressed with the construction of new girls schools throughout the province.

Another large concern for the women in this area is how to provide care for their livestock. They expressed a desire to take animal care classes and also asked the ADT to provide high-quality seed for their small farms.

Parmenter made no specific promises at the shura, but she said the ADT is currently assessing the effectiveness of existing women’s agricultural programs in Kunar and evaluating the feasibility of proposals aimed at giving the women of Kunar agriculture related micro-business opportunities. Those proposals include small-scale poultry, dairy and honey production, as well as carpet weaving.

In addition, the women of Kunar are making strides on their own. In September, they published the first women’s magazine in the province named Loopata, which means Shawl.

“The purpose of the magazine is to express the voice of women and their requirements,” said Brishna, the director for Loopata Magazine. “It is very important because (the magazine) raises the voice of the women.”

The magazine includes novels, poetry and informative articles specifically aimed at women. It’s free and distributed throughout the province.

At the end of the meeting, the FET members from FOB Joyce handed out scarfs and the PRT members distributed radios. As the FET members headed back through the streets of Asadabad, they assured the ladies that this would not be the last time they saw them, and as they continue to work together they promised better things to come.  

 

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Latoya Winham, a human resources sergeant with the 64th Military Police Company, 205th Military Police Battalion, and member of the Forward Operating Base Wright Female Engagement Team from Anniston, Ala., listens as women introduce themselves at the women’s shura in Asadabad here Oct. 20. Around 50 local women joined Army, Navy and Air Force females from Task Force No Slack for the event, which allowed Afghan females to identify issues and discuss solutions directly with members from the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team, the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team, and representatives from the local battle space owner. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Amy Abbott, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Teenage girls in attendance at the women’s shura in Asadabad here Oct. 20 compare photos taken with an instant camera. Around 50 local women joined Army, Navy and Air Force females from Task Force No Slack for the event, which allowed Afghan females to identify issues and discuss solutions directly with members from the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team, the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team, and representatives from the local battle space owner. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Amy Abbott, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

Last Updated on Friday, 22 October 2010 18:36
 

    

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