Audrey Roberts

Audrey Roberts (Afghan Women's Network's - AWN) Audrey received her BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2003. While working toward a MA in socio-cultural anthropology from Columbia University in 2006, she liaised between the UN and civil society in Haiti during an internship with the United Nations Association-Haiti. After receiving her MA in 2006, Audrey worked with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Belgrade (Democratization Department).


27 Jun

The Ministry of Finance decided not to support an $11 million project that they initially supported on family planning, or birth spacing, because they thought it was only going to be a $500,000 program. The Deputy Minister of Finance, the appropriate UNAMA representative had already approved this project. The final ok was to come from the Minister of Finance. At a meeting called to discuss the next steps after approval of this project, a 22 year old man, a representative of the Ministry of Finance said, “On behalf of the Ministry of Finance, I am here to say that we do not approve this project. What do you need $11 million for family planning?” He provided no other explanation for the Ministry retracting their approval.

Why is family planning important in Afghanistan? Fertility and infant and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. A woman should have the right to choose how many children she wants to have. 70% of the population makes less than $2 USD a day to support their families. There are multiple reasons why family planning should be a priority for the government of Afghanistan. They had the chance to do something but decided against it. Why? What can the international community do to suggest to the government how important family planning is in order to have healthy mothers and children in Afghanistan?

Daily, I develop way more questions than I do answers. This country is becoming more of an enigma to me the longer I am here.

Posted By Audrey Roberts

Posted Jun 27th, 2007