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The Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) has been moving towards a comprehensive approach to address gender issues, both among the staff and in its programmes and activities. In the MRRD Strategic Intent (1389 – 1393), women‟s empowerment is recognised as a cross cutting theme. In February 2011, the MRRD formed a Working Group on Gender Issues, drawing on staff from departments and programmes, to give strength to efforts that sought to institutionalise gender mainstreaming within MRRDs staffing and programmatic outputs.
A gender policy for the MRRD has been created through a collaborative and participatory process, which seeks to create an integral role for gender issues within the MRRD‟s planning and action. The policy statements will serve as guiding principles for the MRRD.
The policy statement has been endorsed by HE Minister Jarullah Mansoori, Minister-MRRD on October 4, 2011. The statement formalize and codify MRRD‟s commitment to Afghan women, and at the same time affirm its commitment to making equal opportunity and treatment for all MRRD staff and its beneficiaries a reality.
As a step in this direction, the MRRD has created a Gender Policy for the Ministry which has three major focus areas. These are internally within the institution, externally through service delivery and development initiatives and lastly, the policy has stressed on two cross cutting issues of capacity development and gender mainstreaming. The two cross cutting areas are deeply interlinked and will provide successful gender indicators both institutionally and programmatically.
The MRRD Strategic Implementation Planfor the gender policy will be developed and formulated, using a participatory process to promote a sense of ownership and commitment. A key message will be that gender mainstreaming is a prerequisite to achieving MRRD‟s goals of poverty alleviation and rural development.
It is imperative to note that gender mainstreaming work that the MRRD has committed to carrying outthrough the MRRD Gender Policy and the MRRD results framework will be long term and intensive. It will include development of a strong gender implementing structure within the Ministry which will work towards engendering development initiatives, with the support of the MRRD Leadership. The initiatives outlined in this plan will lead to incremental positive change for women and men and therefore communities across the country.