Women's Garden Reopens in Kabul

November 4, 2010
Afghan Woman Reads a Book While Sitting in a Kabul Garden

About the Author: Abigail Sugrue is an officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry joined senior Afghan officials, including the Minister of Women's Affairs, the Mayor of Kabul, the Governor of Kabul province, and members of parliament, to celebrate the reopening of the Women's Garden in Kabul on November 3, 2010.

The garden, once a sanctuary, was destroyed during the Afghan civil war. During the paralyzing restrictions of the Taliban era, women and girls were unable to enter the park, and it became a garbage dump.

Now that the historic Women's Garden has reopened its doors, the eight-acre enclosure provides the women of Kabul a safe space to participate in a range of recreational and educational activities. The garden hosts gym and sports classes, vocational training, literacy classes, and serves as a place to socialize. It is also home to the provincial Directorate of Women's Affairs.

The reconstruction project was led and implemented by the Director of Women's Affairs, Ms. Karima Salik, who had played in the garden as a young girl before it was destroyed. The Women's Garden was rehabilitated through USAID's Food Insecurity Response for Urban Populations (FIRUP) and the Local Governance and Community Development (LGCD) programs, with CARE International acting as the implementing partner for FIRUP, and DAI as the implementer for LGCD. Fifty percent of the laborers who rebuilt the garden were women.

In her remarks at the ceremony, Dr. Husnbanu Ghazanfar, Minister of Women's Affairs said, “Over the last 30 years this garden turned into a ruin but with the assistance of the U.S. government and other international donors, the garden has a new life now. More than ever, it is both a place to relax and to learn.”

Acknowledging the dedicated work and leadership of Ms. Salik, and the tremendous efforts of Minister Ghazanfar, Governor Zabihullah Mujadadi, Mayor Mohammad Yunus Nawandish, and the entire Provincial Development Committee for their efforts to advance the rights of women, Ambassador Eikenberry noted, “Today marks a new day -- and the hope that Afghan women can again have a garden of their own in Kabul. While this Garden heralds the strength of Afghan women, it is my hope that it will also be seen as a symbol of the United States government's -- and, for that matter, the whole international community's -- support for a lasting friendship and partnership with all Afghans.”



November 5, 2010

Shan in Iraq writes:

it makes me so it is easier for Iraqi women to start rebuilding....gives me hope for my country.

Ozier T.
November 5, 2010

Ozier T. in Germany writes:

During three decades of war in Afghanistan women sufferd a lot, its a great achievment and I am really happy seeing these kind of developments in women section. Ladies first....

I am thankful to USAID and all those people who have been working on this great job. Peace up

New Mexico, USA
November 5, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

There are ...how should I say? Multifaceted aspects of a nation coming full-circle and becoming whole again.

A kite flying instead of bullets, a tree growing where a blasted stump once lent mute testimony to battles past, or this park revived, speaks much of how huge the "little things" are in this process.

I will suggest this, that in the American's minds eye our press really hasn't shown us this progress, and it's up to folks @ State and USAID to document all this, photograph it, and sue MSNBC and all the other networks on behalf of our public's investment in the future unless they put it all on prime time for everyone to see, so everyone knows both we and Afghans got American taxpayer's money's worth out of nation building.

Along with all the other donors that contributed and still do to the vast effort involved in all of this.

It's not even about "making progress" you do this to force the media to show the whole of the truth, you gotta do this to show the American public we're actually winning this war, because public support is essential to do so.

And while you're at it tell Anderson Cooper where to stuff his tight black tee shirt.

If you don't mind please.


P.S. And I forgot to add, you may want to do a "Crocker" on the Iranians and inform them they are no longer safe anywhere in Afghanistan, as they are trying to pull the same things they did in Iraq in 2006-7.

Check and search every beast of burden crossing that border, every truck , cart and back pack...or just close it down if you can't.

You'll save a lot of innocent lives this way, as well as our troops.

Leo M.
Florida, USA
November 5, 2010

Leo A.M. in Florida writes:

Greetings! I am a Florida Advance Master Gardener since 1980. I am interested in assisting in any way I can.

Good Luck

ajay k.
November 6, 2010

Ajay K. in Afghanistan writes:

dear sir
iam ajay k in indian pepal iam bee for work in iraq taji in 2004 to 2006 my co.in reedinens manegmant saport LC. my job in heavy diver i am god and hard workar so geev me a van chansh.


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