HC Deb 25 June 1997 vol 296 c560W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her policy is on the provision of assistance to Afghanistan; and what steps she is taking to ensure the United Kingdom assistance to areas controlled by the Taliban benefit women as well as men. [3810]

Clare Short

Our policy in Afghanistan is to create an environment where all Afghans, men and women will realise basic human rights leading to a more secure and stable social and economic life.

The UK subscribes to the common donor position on gender and human rights issues in Afghanistan that all parties should recognise, protect and promote the equal rights and dignity of men and women, including access to education, employment outside the home, personal security and freedom from intimidation and harassment. The UK works closely with other donors for the adoption of more appropriate humanitarian policies and strategies and it is our policy to deal robustly with human rights concerns and repeated representations are made to all factions in Afghanistan to this effect.