Location: AWPFO Office
Date: 27th-31st March 2021
Time: 9am- 4pm for 5 days
Number of Participants: 25-30 members
A 5-Day capacity building training program was organized by AWPFO for 14 provincial representatives in Kabul.
After the success of the First Women Ulema Conference in October 2020, our AWPFO focal points requested for a program to help build the capacity of these women. This program was designed after consultation with the targeted beneficiaries. The initial plan, which was shared with UNAMA, was for 10 women grass root leaders to be given this training; we shared this message on our WhatsApp group as well. Some of these selected women chose to bring another female colleague instead of their mehrem with themselves so they would benefit from this opportunity as well, which is why we had two women from Herat, two from Ghazni, two from Helmand, two from Laghman two from Samangan, whereas the remaining provinces we had one representatives, such as: Kunduz, Paktia, Logar, Zabul, Wardak, Parwan, and Kandahar. We also had high demand from Kabul members, but we were only able to allow 3 women from Kabul. So, the planned capacity building training for 10 women ended up with 18 women from provinces and 3 from Kabul.
Selection of the target trainee took a longer time than we expected because many women were interested in participating in this training, however, due to limited financial resources, we were unable to allow them all to participate, but fortunately as an act of solidarity, many women chose to bring another woman participant with them.
We had 5-days designed program, followed by the written agenda. The program began with the preliminary recitation of the Holy Quran and then playing of the National Anthem of Afghanistan. After the brief introduction with the participants, with accordance to the agenda, the real program began, where topics such as management, leadership skills, communications, reporting writing, agency, monitoring and evaluation, financial management basis, litigation and networking, security management plan, feminism, UNHCR, CEDAW, NAP, VPR, and UNCRD were workshops held. Advocacy meeting with donors from different embassies were also conducted in person and virtually. In the training program there was a pre-test that was handed out to the participants to compare their prior knowledge to what they will have absorbed from this training program, which we evaluated with a post-test, that we handed out on the last day, which will help us evaluate the success and shortcomings of the program after the completion of the program. We also held reviewing sessions, where each participant presented their chosen topic from the workshops that were held; this showcased their motivation and enthusiasm. The program was accompanied by suggestions, opinions, feedback and discussions by the participants. In this program Ms. Parvin, a representative from UNAMA, also participated and handed out the certificates to each participant.
Description of Capacity Improvement Program Report:
Capacity improvement program for provincial representatives took place for 5 consecutive days, starting from March 27th till March 31st. The program began at 9:00am and lasted till 4:00 p.m, with a prelude to peace on behalf of the government. We had representatives from the following provinces: Kabul, Helmand, Kandahar, Herat, Kunduz, Parwan, Ghazni, Laghman, Samangan, Logar, Zabul, Khost, and Nangarhar. Ms. Jamila Safi welcomed and officially started the program. The first activity listed on the agenda was the recitation of Quran Kareem and the playing of the National Anthem of Afghanistan. The beginning of the program was achieved with a warm-up game of throwing the ball amongst the participants as an icebreaker activity to introduce them to one another; a friendly epistemology took place after the identification of the participants. The program’s host, Ms. Toorpekai Momand, Vice President of WILPF-Afg Section, officially started the program, who led the program for 5 days consecutively.
There was a segment of the program that discussed the expectations and concerns of the participants, which was jotted down in two-color posters and their views were posted on the walls. Before the beginning of the program, we distributed pre-test forms for the participants to fill out so we could successfully assess how to lead the rest of the program, especially considering their areas of strength and weaknesses. This test helped us evaluate how and where did the participants learn and grow once we took the post-test on the last day of the program.
Day 1- March 27th, 2021:
According to the agenda, Ms. Afghani, president of WILPF-AFG Section, introduced the topics of the workshop. After greetings, the program started and the training for the provincial women began and lasted for 5 days. The theme of the training was on 5 principles: management and leadership program, specialties of a good leader and a good manager, information and communication skills, writing a report, and writing media report. We held a series of advocacy meetings such as: German embassy, Norwegian Embassy, US Embassy, UK Embassy, and physical visit from KAS. For the purpose of this program, we created training manual, which was prepared in both Dari and Pashto, and handed out at the end of the program to each participant.
The program began with Ms. Afghani asking the sisters, “What are you aiming for in your career?” as one of the questions to get the women intrigued about the topic.
Some of the statements shared by the participants are listed down below:
Ms. Zahra Jalal, from Khost Province: “Women, who are widows or breadwinner of the house, should not be married by force. In order to clarify their mentality, an intellectual society must be created and it is my goal to be a source that will protect and lead them out of such circumstances.”
Nazifa Jalal, from Zabul province: “It is essential to create and establish a school of thought, which is one of my goals. Achieving this goal comes with many challenges.”
Fareema from Parwan Province: “My goal is to continue my education and not compromise it for anyone’s sake.”
Ms. Kamilah from Herat Province: “My goal is to satisfy Allah and it can be done through the righteous upbringing of my children, who will be the future generation of Afghanistan.”
Farishta Stanikzai from Logar Province: “My goal is to finish my education and slowly help establish the school I created for women, who are older and want to learn Islamic education.”
Adela, from Herat Province: “My goal is to be a woman that is a great exemplary model for the other women of Afghanistan as I incorporate the teachings of Islam in my actions.”
Breshna, from Ghazni Province: “My goal is to be a good leader and a fair representative in all aspects.
Zarifa, from Laghman province: “I will build schools in my districts that will inform them of the truth of religion.”
Rahima, from Kabul Province: “My goal is to be a good leader at home and in society by making illiterate women literate.”
Zainab, from Samangan Province: “My goal is to be a good professor in sharia.
Speech of Ms. Jamila Afghani:
Allah has found man ashraful makhluqat, (best of the creations), which shows that they are creatures who are obliged to know their religion. After comprehending their religion, they should have the ability to understand the needs of others, and they must have a goal in mind to achieve.
The goal can change with time; we need to practice the goal we have throughout the day. Right before we go to bed, we should think about the productivity of our work and where we were successful and the areas that required more improvement. The importance of time is something that must be understood and appreciated; we should not waste the limited time we have been given.
The etiquette of prayer itself provides us with a daily work plan, such as how the prayer begins, which words we should recite, and so on. We must plan to have a regular schedule that will organize our day. Irregularity has a negative effect on our work. During the day, we should include activities that will be beneficial for our wellbeing as well, such as exercising and meditating, which is essential in resolving our anger and disorganization issues.
Nazifa Jan will now give us a presentation on the topic of communication and networking:
Presentation on Communication and Networking:
It is essential to remember the role of communication in our daily lives. Communication plays a significant role whether it is in social media or in our physical interactions with others. Through strong skills of communication, we can establish a strong network. Networking is the most essential tool in enhancing the way we interact with people on a daily basis in order to establish a strong team that will work alongside us.
After Nazifa’s presentation, Mr. Fazal Ghani Kakar, Managing Director of NECDO, virtually presented his assigned section on Reporting:
Presentation on Reporting:
Reporting is one of the most technical and crucial skills that we all need to work on. It is necessary for the institutional body, in which the project has been assigned to, to share their reports to the relevant departments. In an NGO institution, there are 3 types of reports:
- Brief report: A brief report that is reported immediately via email or Facebook at the end of the day to your supervisors.
- Minute report: The minutes of the meeting have a special format where one person writes the minutes of the meeting, that includes the assignments that must be met by the end of the week; and it is crucial to mention the date of the meeting.
- Anecdotal Report: This type of report is usually the responsibility of the project manager, which highlights the written report of how the project was led. It is important to remember that all activities should be arranged according to date and time.
It is also important to note down the decisions and implementation of the meeting or of the conference through some recorded mechanism, and the feedback from the participants must be noted. The report should be written in the form of a description where the challenges from the event must be mentioned to prohibit it from occurring again.
This was the last segment for the first day of the training.
Day 2- March 28th, 2021:
After being welcomed by Ms. Toorpekai Momand, Vice president of WILPF-Afghanistan, second day of the workshop began with the recitation of a verse from the Holy Quran. According to the agenda, Ms. Afghani started the program with a presentation on leadership and management virtually:
Ms. Afghani began the session by asking from the participants: “What is the difference between a Manager and a Leader?”
Ms. Jamila Afghani began the session by stating the difference: “The manager’s scope of work is limited to a useful framework, while a leader can change and create a strategy. Manager’s tend to be more flexible and are under direct orders from an authority above, while a leader is the one accountable for leading the team. Leaders are farsighted and inspire people to have visions for the future, and in that way they are more creative, while managers try to carry out orders that they have been given under the instructions of their supervisor.”
The women were divided into groups and worked on flip charts and prepared presentations on the following 6 topics.
* Group 1: Administration and Management – (Ms. Adila jan and Ms. Kamilah)
* Group 2: Financial Management -(Ms.Nazifa and Ms. Maliha)
* Group 3: Litigation – (Ms Farima and Ms Zarifa)
* Group 4: Board Management – (Ms. Qamar Niazi and Ms. Luna)
* Group 5: Internal and External communications – (Ms. .Zeinab and Ms. .Zahra)
* Group 6: – Finance and Human Resources -(Ms. Raheleh and Ms. Rahemeh)
After the group work and sharing of the participants regarding the topics that they were assigned, Ms. Afghani continued:
“Regardless of gender, leadership is a skill that anyone can have. Leaders can lead people both in personal space and in public spaces such as: office environment. Both position of a manager and leader should not have a prejudicial mindset. Both leaders and managers should proceed in consultation of the other. The important point as a leader is to assign the work to individuals that are good in that area and a good manager must ensure that the assigned tasks are completed by the assigned workers. Without having the professional ability to work, problems may arise. The leader thinks of things to do and how to do it in the best way. He creates the plan for the manager to implement.”
The next presentation was led by Mr. Fazal Ghani Kakar regarding the project cycle where he mentioned the importance of following the chain of organization and the structure of leading successful projects.
This was the last activity in the agenda for that day.
Day 3-March 29th, 2021:
The day started with a warm welcome and followed by a presentation of the Resolution of 1325. Ms. Toorpekai Momand began the presentation with a brief introduction of Islamic and international law. Her session continued with the following points:
On October 31, 2000, the UN Security Council adopted the historic Resolution 1325 on women in peace and security. The resolution emphasizes increasing women’s participation in the prevention of conflict resolution management and other issues related to peace and security. Afghanistan, as a member of the United Nations, has taken practical steps to comply with its international human rights and women’s rights obligations. The Government of Afghanistan has developed a National Action Plan in order to comply with the principles and implementation of Resolution 1325.
She later mentioned the goals of the historic Resolution 1325 and its implementation mechanism in Afghanistan.
After the session led by Ms. Momand, we had another presentation prepared by Ms. Sonia Ishaqzadeh about Monitoring and Evaluation:
Presentation on Monitoring and Evaluation:
She began the session by asking some simple questions, “What do you know about monitoring? Why is monitoring and evaluation important?”
We need to make sure that the project is implemented in a proper manner.
- Definition of Supervision: A cross-sectional and comprehensive review of the long-term effects of the project and program to what extent the goals have been achieved. For example, women were few in number in the beginning and were successful.
- Difference between Monitoring and Evaluation:
- Monitoring is ongoing and Evaluation should be done once during the project.
- Employees should visit the site once to assess whether donors or other companies are involved in the project.
- Supervisors provide information to the evaluation. Provides information evaluation to the plan.
- More monitoring takes place inside the office. Evaluation outside the office
- Numerical monitoring and evaluation are both quantitative and qualitative
- Types of Monitoring: resources, results, process
- Types of Evaluation: Structure, Initial process summary, outcome, and ongoing effects
Meeting with Ms. Parayas and Mr. Mike, Representatives of the US Embassy, who were arranged to meet with Ms. Jamila Afghani. With representatives from the provinces of Afghanistan, led and translated by Ms. Afghani, led through Zoom.
After Ms. Afghani welcomed both sides, an acquaintance took place between the embassy representatives and the participants.
Ms. Parayas shared: “I myself have played an active role in the relationship with peace. As a woman, I wish and prosperity to every other woman. And I am interested in getting to know the sisters who are gathered here from different provinces of Afghanistan and talk to them. I know your courage and resilience. You! Who work together to bring peace and a better understanding to play a good role in bringing peace. I want to hear from you what do female scholars want from the point of view of religion? This is the first time I have talked to the ulema and I am glad to be with you.”
Mr. Mike introduced himself, who is engaged in political affairs in the embassy, he added, “I heard about your courage. I want to hear more from you.”
Some of the Questions that our two guests asked are listed below:
- What are your demands from us?
- How can we help you?
- What are your demands from the international community?
They mentioned: A very important issue is how to maintain gender equality within the framework of Islam. Afghan men work in the field of law. If you want peace, men must work with you, because without the cooperation of men, you will not have lasting peace.”
Ms. Niazi, from Helmand province: “Men and women are united in their role in the peace process in Afghanistan. Men and women have the same responsibilities in general (و صلح الخیر) this address is for both men and women. Lack of peace hurts both men and women. Real scholars have played a very positive role in Afghanistan and they must continue to play their vibrant role.”
Ms. Kamela, from Herat province: “Women of the world should be given time to participate in negotiations and talk to the Taliban from the Islamic point of view and defend their rights from the religious point of view in order to achieve a peaceful and dignified dialogue.”
Ms. Luna, from Kandahar province: “The next government should be elected. Balanced development should be considered. The government should pay attention to the victims of war and fight against ethnic and linguistic prejudices.”
Ms. Kamelah, from Herat province: “The ulema play an important role in creating peace and always pray for peace and security. God does not consider anyone who persecutes even a neighbor to be one of his faithful believers.”
After this meeting, there was a physical meeting by representatives of KAS and virtual presence of a representative from German Embassy.
Ms. Eleanor joined the meeting physically with Ms. Nabila, her translator. Both she and Mr. Martin wanted to learn and hear the voices of the women ulema’s.
Ms. Eleanor: Women are very strong and still try to be stronger, they understand the shortcomings and I want to help and cooperate with you in areas that you require our assistance.”
Ms. Eleanor asked: How have your interactions been with male ulema and how much were you in collaboration with both sides?
Qamar Niazi: “Male scholars do not want to talk to women, but we women want to say that when there is no peace with men and youth, we women want to make peace. I had a meeting with some scholars and I started my speech with a Hadith than they listened to me.”
Zahra Jalal, from Khost: “When I ran for provincial elections, they did not allow me to post my photos for the campaign on the walls and other places. I was told that I had become an infidel, but I went from house to house, campaigning for myself and succeeding, which is currently my third term as a lawyer. We are also very grateful to Ms. Jamila Afghani, who is preparing the ground for our meeting with the embassies.
Ms. Adelah, from Herat: “All embassies should come together to help the people of Afghanistan and support us in bringing peace to Afghanistan.”
Nazifa, from Zabul province: “I am in that province where Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, is from the same province. There is constant war and our sisters still do not have access to education. I even talked to Talib women and asked them not to let your husbands, sons and brothers take part in the war. They are also tired of the war, but they have to be with the Taliban because the government does not create working conditions. They risk their lives for the sake of a piece of bread and for the life of their fathers, sons, brothers and relatives.”
Another question that was raised by Eleanor: “What is the difference between Taliban scholars and ulema’s?”
“The Taliban say that being a woman is an absolute infidelity, while scholars say that if you mention the name of the Prophet, then she can speak, and so can Afghan women. If the scholars understand correctly, peace will come as they can help the Taliban learn the right method.”
Mr. Martin: “The negotiating team should be transformed and replaced with religious scholars so that they can dream with the Taliban from a religious perspective with better results.”
Qamar Niazi: “The difference between the world and the Taliban is that the children of the world have been educated and found their place in society, but the children of the Taliban have remained illiterate at home.”
Mr. Martin: “The German embassy has provided a lot of help and I want to support the suffering people of Afghanistan to bring peace.”
Ms. Farima, from Parwan: “Scholarships should be set up to increase our capacity building.”
Qamar Niazi, from Helmand: “Everyone hates war and wants peace. I call on the international community to support the peace process.”
Ms. Nazifa: “I asked a Taliban do you accept Islam. Said: “Yes, do you accept the hadith? He said: Yes.I told him: first give your wife’s sister and dowry the Islamic rights, and then talk to me as a Muslim. I want to build a library for women in the world so that they can benefit.
Ms. Shahla Safa’s Admin Finance at WILPF- Afghanistan led a presentation on Financial Basics where she mentioned some important points about financial terminologies and issues.
This was the last activity for this day.
Day 4th-March 30th, 2021:
The host of the program, Ms. Toorpekai Momand, started the program by reviewing the activities from the previous days and the remaining of the program was carried out according to the agenda.
There was a presentation led by Ms. Shabaneh, project manager of anti-sexual harassment project. She shared the importance of eliminating sexual harassment and recognizing different types of sexual harassment in society.
After her presentation, Ms. Jamila Afghani presented her section on feminism and started the session by asking, “What is feminism?”
Qamar Niazi: “Feminism refers to equality of both genders.”
Ms. Afghani: In the late 19th century, women had the opportunity to work in factories. At that time, women worked more than men, but men earned more than women. This is what we call discriminatory behavior. This discrimination led to demonstrations and women demanding their rights. Many women were killed in the protests. These demonstrations eventually turned into a popular uprising, where there was noise from all sides during this period. The capitalists raised a certain amount of wages for the female workers. The lawsuit went on to say that even women who did not have the right to vote did not have the right to work. Eventually, the field of work was gradually liberated.
For the first time, the CEWDA Convention was established, which continued all gender policies and laws. 1400 years ago, Prophet Mohammad forbade injustices against women and Islam gave material and spiritual value to women. CEWDA (elimination of all forms of violence against women)
One of the most important conventions is the prohibition of any discrimination against women. In 1972, the ratification process began. Finally, in 1979, it was ratified. Afghanistan signed it in 1980, and passed and signed in 2003.This convention covers all women’s rights. CEWDA is theory of practice; it seeks the full well-being of women, and emphasizes the guarantee of preventive enforcement.
Presentation on Security and Risk Management:
In this part of the program; the presentation on security and risk management was presented by two young ladies, Hareer Hashim, Program Manager, and Maryam Safi, Advocacy and Communication officer at WILPF Afghanistan. They gave example of certain threats that the participants should be aware of, and how to mitigate from those threatening situations.
This was the last presentation for that day and each participant was assigned a topic to present for the next day of training.
Day 5th-March 31st, 2021:
On the last day of training, Ms. Toorpekai Momand gave a brief overview of yesterday’s programs and thanked all the representatives of the provinces and Kabul for their patience. On this day of the program, we had Ms. Parvin from UNAMA, attending our program as well.
At the beginning of the program, the groups were assigned to present their presentations were asked to present their presentations in order. On this day, the program of educational materials that had been discussed for several days, and they had good training to discuss the training materials in a presentation format.
Participants were divided into groups of two and each group had prepared a presentation on the topics discussed in the program. This was a good way to see how much the participants benefited from the program materials. In fact, each group actively presented their presentation, which pleased Ms. Afghani and the members of the leadership of WILPF-Afghanistan.
Ms. Parvin from UNAMA – After greetings and respects: “I am very happy with my time in the program. My only request to you, the representatives of the provinces and the participants from Kabul is that; the training materials of this workshop should be given to the women of the provinces, so that they can start an educational workshop for the sisters in their provinces as well.
Here is the breakdown of the groups:
- Nazifa (Zabul)- Project Management
- Zainab (Samangan) and Farima (Parwan)- Networking
- Adela and Kamela (Herat)- Report Writing
- Qamar Niazi (Helmand) and Luna Kargar (Kandahar)- Media Reporting
- Zarifa (Laghman) and Maliha (Wardak)- Financial Management
- Zahra Jalal (Khost) and Farishta (Kabul)-Monitoring and Evaluation
- Breshna (Ghazni) and Nazima (Ghazni)- Advocacy
- Rahima (Kabul) and Masooda (Laghman)- Leader and Manager
- Rahila (Kunduz) and Halima (Kabul)- Networking
Representatives of the Provinces Meet with the British Embassy:
The embassy representative expressed his satisfaction with the knowledge of the representatives of the provinces, especially with the representatives of the war-torn provinces, and said that we would like to hear from you peace-loving women regarding your opinion about the negotiations, and their wants from the peace negotiation process.
Zahra, from Khost province: “In the negotiations, women should be selected who can better represent the bereaved people of their country who are well-versed in the country’s orphans, victims of war and the status of women from an Islamic perspective. And we urge the British government to support our peace process. We want that right; Reach out to the rightful and establish justice. Five thousand people have been martyred in these five years. This is the greatest sacrifice we have ever made. Women should play a key role in negotiations, not symbolically.”
Zainab, from Samangan province: Only four women attended the Doha meeting. And in the Moscow peace summit, there was just one woman. We want the number of women in the Istanbul summit to be more. If women ulema participate in the Doha meeting then their role will be fruitful, especially with a face to face meeting with the Taliban; they can express themselves better from a religious point of view with logic and use the same narratives that the Taliban have used to diminish their role.”
Toorpekai Momand: “In Afghanistan, patriarchy is dominant, and they are the ones talking about the role of women. We need more women participants in this delegation to successfully have an influence in the peace talks.”
Ms. Maliha Moahed: “In the ranks of Afghanistan, there are basically those who do not have a job and do not have income. Their families are economically weak in every way. Many young people are sacrificing their families’ weak economy and are forced to line up with the opposition for a morsel of bread and a meager salary. The Taliban’s treatment of the general public is very bad, especially those who work with the government.”
UK Representative: “I want to raise all of your voices. I want to ask how involved you all are in the peace process at the local and village level?”
Zahra Jalal, from Khost: “In the peace process, we women and other women did considerable work, but unfortunately they participated in the negotiations of the government networkers and not us.”
Ms. Adeleh, from Herat: “We thank Ms. Afghani for arranging our meeting with the British Embassy, where we met and exchanged views from several provinces. We express our suggestions to the representative of the British Embassy.”
At the end of the program, each participant described peace in short sentences:
Adeleh Azizi from Herat: Peace is life.
Rahemeh from Kapisa: Peace is free from any kind of discrimination and mutual acceptance.
Fereshteh Stanekzai from Logar: Peace is security and tranquility.
Halimeh Naseri from Ghazni: Peace Smiling away from anxiety and worry:
Raheleh Qarizadeh from Kunduz: Peace is the spring water that we need.
Farima Nehami from Parwan: Peace is peace and security.
Ramineh Mohammadi from Pancheshir: Peace is tranquility.
Luna Kargar from Kandahar: Peace is prosperity.
Zahra Jalal from Khost: Peace is progress, reconstruction, freedom
At the end of the program, Ms. Hareer Hashim thanked both sides WILPF and the representatives of the British Embassy. At the end of the 5-day program, there was a post-test to evaluate the knowledge of the participants in comparison to the pre-test, and we saw great result and difference in their knowledge.
They were also given a questionnaire, which was answered by the participants, and at the end of the program, all certificates were distributed to all participants in the presence of the UNAMA representative.
A few of the representatives from the provinces met with representatives of Norwegian embassy, which was led by Ms. Hareer Hashim on March 31st, 2021. Those who attended the meeting are the following:
- Qamar Niyazi, from Helmand
- Kamila Azizi from Herat
- Nazifa Jalal from Zabul
- Zainab Salehi from Samangan
A representative of the Norwegian ambassador and two staff members from the Norwegian embassy attended this meeting. After introducing the representative of the Norwegian embassy, they expressed their satisfaction with the arrival of the representatives from the province. He welcomed the delegates and apologized for not being able to attend the entire program, due to some urgent work, however, Ms. Mette, continued the program.
Ms. Qamar Niazi, from Helmand: “Dialogue between male and female scholars should be supported by the embassy.”
Ms. Nazifa, from Zabul: “We women of the world were trained with a special Islamic spirit, we studied in this direction, but we are not allowed to work among the people.”
Ms. Kamila, from Herat, who had tears in her eyes, said: “How long will we be at war and make sacrifices and be destroyed? We have lost our family members.” We want peace, support us in bringing peace.”
Ms. Zainab, from Samangan: “In terms of increasing our capacities, we women want the cooperation of the embassy to prepare scholarships for us.”
Ms. Mette noted down all the issues, and Ms. Hareer Hashim thanked the Norwegian embassy.
At the end of the 5-day program; Ms. Jamila Afghani thanked the participants for their active participation and the participants thanked Ms. Jamila for launching such capacity-building programs. Ms. Jamila Afghani instructed provincial representatives to implement the program in the province where they live. A number of provincial representatives were also given membership of WILPF-Afghanistan office. The program ended at 5 p.m.
Note: During the program, refreshments and food were available according to the request of the participants.