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    Resolute Support, CSTC-A celebrate International Women’s Day

    Resolute Support, CSTC-A celebrate International Women’s Day

    Courtesy Photo | (From left) Col. Paul Owen, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Transatlantic...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. John Quin 

    Resolute Support Headquarters

    KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition women were honored at a ceremony held at Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul as part of International Women’s Day on Tuesday.

    The event, which was hosted by Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) was a way for the command to recognize both the achievements of females supporting the international coalition, as well as to mark the progress Afghanistan has made in protecting women’s rights since 2001, said Maj. Gen. Gordon "Skip" Davis, Jr., commanding general, CSTC-A, and deputy chief of staff for security assistance.

    Davis called the event’s keynote speaker, Maliha Nasrat, a living symbol of Afghanistan’s progress.

    “You represent the very best Afghan women have to offer their country,” Davis said.

    As a child, Nasrat was struck by a stray bullet, resulting in a lengthy recovery.

    “I was told I was disabled – that I couldn’t do anything,” Nasrat said through an interpreter. “But I never lost hope.”

    An excellent student, Nasrat went on to graduate from law school. After working at the Afghan Supreme Court, she was hired by the Ministry of Defense Legal Department through the Functional Area Support Team (FAST) program.

    Through Resolute Support’s FAST program and the Ministry of the Interior’s equivalent, Subject Matter Expert program, approximately 300 young Afghan men and women have been hired as technical experts in areas including financial management, logistics, procurement, human resources, information technology and law. In the FAST program, 23 percent of the new hires have been female.

    Despite her own struggles, Nasrat’s message was one of perseverance and hope.

    “Women have had problems in security and education, but I’m very happy to celebrate this day in Afghanistan,” Nasrat said. “Our Afghan women are brave and trying to change this situation.”

    Nasrat also thanked the international coalition for its support, saying ultimately Afghanistan must have peace.

    “Life is for hope,” she said. “Find a goal. Have a good future.”

    Following Nasrat’s remarks, Davis recognized some of his own staff. Those recognized included U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Julie Elenbaum; U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Erika Digel; U.S. Air Force Maj. Erin Tedesco; U.S. Navy Lt. Charity Edgar; U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Denedra Hodge; U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jodie McKinley; Janis Green; Jessy Joseph; Beth Rairigh; Nicole Schmitt; Tracey Tyler; and Kate Valentine.

    Davis also praised coalition partners including Italy, Germany and Australia for setting the standard for gender equality.

    Davis has seen the U.S. military become more gender-integrated throughout his career, from serving in the second class to include female cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, to recent moves to open combat positions to women.

    “We have come a long way in leveraging the potential of our women in the military, but we still have work to do,” Davis said.



    Date Taken: 03.09.2016
    Date Posted: 03.09.2016 11:54
    Story ID: 191700
    Location: KABUL, AF 

    Web Views: 904
    Downloads: 0