Zeenat Karzai, Afghanistan's First Lady plans more active role

Dr Zeenat Karzai, the wife of President Hamid Karzai, told Pajhwok News Agency that she plans to come more into society, working for Afghan women.
Dr Karzai, who has rarely been seen in public since her husband became president of the interim government in 2001, was speaking after a meeting for prominent Afghan women which she held on December 27, at her residence in the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

When the Pajhwok reporter suggested that all the people in society wanted to see her activity, she responded: "In the near future, I want to come in the society. The work I want to start should be useful for Afghan women."

Asked about how she felt over bringing together the group of some 50 women, in such fields as politics, culture, health and media, she told Pajhwok: "I feel very happy. I want that all the women should be united and promoted."

Dr Karzai spoke to the audience of women about the Liberty media awards from America to Jamila Mujahed, the chief editor of Malalai women's magazine, and to Shukria Barakzai, the chief editor of the weekly Aina-e-Zan. And she added: "This is not only the pride of Jamila and Shukria, but this is an honour for all Afghan women."

Safia Saddiqi, poet and writer, congratulated the new Government of Hamid Karzai, but asked Zeenat to convey a message to the president, as follows: "42 per cent of women for the first time came out of their houses and elected their president, but regretfully two women is the poor total in the new cabinet."

She added: "I hope that the next cabinet should be about 10 or 20 per cent women."

Finally, Jamila Mujahed expressed thanks to the president's wife, saying: "Mrs Karzai encouraged us to work better in the future."

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