In Afghanistan, UN agency to sponsor workshop on early marriage

18 August 2005

Citing a strong link between early marriage and maternal mortality, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is joining forces with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs to organize a two-day workshop in Kabul for religious leaders to explore the issue of early marriage from an Islamic viewpoint.

The workshop, which is also being supported by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will be held on 21-22 August, Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), told reporters.

He added that the workshop will be opened by the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Dr. Masouda Jalal, and religious leaders from each Afghan province are expected to attend.

In other news, Mr. Edwards said UNAMA was also giving attention to the issue of intimidation of female election candidates. It had already commented on the problem in its joint political rights verification report with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and, in line with its mandate, the mission would be commenting on this issue again in the next political rights verification report, due to be published in the coming week.


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