UNODC’s work in Afghanistan focuses on key aspects of drug prevention, providing alternative livelihood options to drug cultivators and reducing demand by supporting drug use prevention treatment and care, and social assistance to those who are in need. These areas of work need to be approached with a long-term view and include women to be successful. UNODC promotes sustainable environment friendly options and in consultations with women developed a programme which promotes locally sustainable livelihood initiatives such as poultry farming and backyard vegetable gardening. These can be easily managed by women from home and it enables them to provide food security as well as complement the family income.
UNODC Gender Team: What role do women and girls play in combatting this issue and where do you see opportunities for a more sustainable tomorrow with women and girls at the forefront?
Rather than only focusing on women as victims or survivors, in the context of Afghanistan, women and girls can play a key role in combating drugs. Experience shows that women are eager to find sustainable income generating opportunities. But most of them are pushed into drug trade and supply due to lack of any other sustainable income generating opportunities. This is why sustainable opportunities for women are so important – they bring an overall change in the social context as they provide women with a role in decision making. Women’s decisions are often driven and informed by the health and safety of their families; thus they are seeking opportunities to move away from the drug trade in order to keep their families safe.
(c) UN Women
Marked annually on March 8th, International Women's Day celebrates women's achievements and raises awareness about women's equality. UN Women announced this year`s theme as, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.” The theme recognizes the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. It is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66): “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.”