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Women were protectors and role models in Afghanistan

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At the unveiling of the B.C. Afghanistan Memorial on Quadra Street in September 2017, Shinkai Karokhail, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Canada, spoke with passion:

“As a woman who has stood for women’s rights and has represented men and women for a decade in our parliament, I know very well what the Canadian sacrifice has meant to my nation.”

She went on to point out the changes in Afghanistan since 2001 — more women in parliament (about 28 per cent now, just ahead of Canada’s 27 per cent); 36 per cent of all students are female (there are three million girls in school, compared with about 50,000 in 2001) and better health care across the nation. She thanked Canadians for the sacrifices of their “daughters and sons.”

Daughters and sons. We don’t often hear it stated that way, but as an Afghan woman, she has a right to put the emphasis on the role Canadian women played during the operation and the change it meant for women in Afghanistan.

I first met Karokhail in 2011 in her home village of Khak-e-Jabbar, the tiny capital of a district about an hour-and-a-half drive south of........

© Times Colonist