Afghan gov’t to allow mother’s name to be printed on national IDs

  • Date of Publication : 5/09/2020 at 11:36 GMT
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The Afghan government has accepted a proposal to put mothers’ names on their children’s birth certificates, in a rare win for women’s rights activists in the deeply conservative country.

Campaigners have for years pushed for women to be named on official documents including children’s birth certificates, which like Afghan identity documents carry only the name of a person’s father, under the hashtag #Whereismyname.

But they have faced opposition in the conservative and patriarchal Muslim country, where some see even using a woman’s name as offensive.

A woman’s name often does not appear on the invitation to her wedding – only those of her father and husband-to-be – or even on her grave.

This week the cabinet’s legal affairs committee, headed by Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, agreed to a proposal to change the law and allow the names of both parents.

“The decision to include the mother’s name in the ID card is a big step towards gender equality and the realization of women’s rights,” Danish’s office said in a statement.

The legal amendment still needs approval from the country’s male-dominated parliament and must then be signed off by the president.

It was drafted by Naheed Farid, an independent politician who chairs the parliamentary commission on women’s affairs, and other MPs to be presented to the house after its summer break ends on September 21.

The move came as the Afghan government prepared for talks with the Taliban following a US peace deal with the armed group signed in February.

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