BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (December 10, 2008) – The director of woman’s affairs, Miriam Panjshiri, and the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team woman’s affairs team held a woman’s shura with 34 Afghan women from 15 different villages in Bazarak District to discuss community issues on Dec. 2.
“No other shura went this well,” said an Afghan female interpreter who has worked with the woman’s affairs team over the past year. “Women are usually trying to talk over each other and at times disagree on the needs of the village.”
During last week’s shura the women were more patient and respectful of one another.
The woman’s affairs team believes the Memorandum of Understanding developed between the government and the women of Panjshir empowers them with the knowledge necessary to bring more development to their villages.
“They know they need to submit proposals through the Provincial Development Council in order to get their project added to the list of future projects,” said Tech. Sgt. Dawn Allison-Hess, a member of the woman’s affairs team.
The governor tells the Provincial Development Council how to prioritize their list, and the PRT will not take on any projects that have not been presented to the council and prioritized by the governor, she said.
The women of Bazarak District came to the shura last week knowing the types of projects they desired for their villages. Many voiced the need for more power and water, and expressed an interest in projects such as sewing and poultry.
“The women brought their concerns and wishes to this shura, and now Miriam and I will try and get projects into their villages,” said Spc. Amanda Cutler, woman’s affairs team.
Following the shura, the woman’s affairs team provided attendees with prayer rugs, bowls, pots, flasks and lunch boxes.