A Picture is worth a Thousand Words

Forty young female painters from Mazar-e Sharif, including high school and university students, participated in a painting competition. The painters had a month to visualise consequences of war and peace artistically. Yesterday, an exhibition in Balkh’s provincial capital’s Family Counselling Centre (FCC) displayed the paintings. 55 people, mostly women, came to see them. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme Promotion of the Rule of Law (RoL) supported the event.

The Head of Balkh’s Department of Women’s Affairs, Shahla Hadeed, emphasised, ‘The main subject of the exhibition is to visualise war and peace consequences. The Afghan people experienced decades of war and misery, but we put our trust into peace and do our best to ensure it.’ A participating female painter added, ‘Every member of society should put effort into ensuring peace, as we young female painters did.’

Through their paintings, the participants communicated how war results in devastation and misery while peace could enable a bright future and a joyful life for all Afghans. The competition was a unique opportunity for the young women to convey this message to the public. The exhibition shall encourage visitors to support and ensure peace in Afghanistan and put an end to armed conflicts. Another female painter commented, ‘The exhibition will have a positive effect on the public mind.’

To make sure that as many people as possible receive this important message, similar exhibitions will display the paintings in public places in Balkh throughout the weeks to come. On 8th March, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day celebrations, the paintings will again be exhibited in Mazar-e Sharif during the celebrations of International Women’s Day.

The programme Promotion of the Rule of Law in Afghanistan (RoL) is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at ensuring the rule of law, a well-functioning judicial system and legal security in Afghanistan. To ensure legal security for all citizens, RoL has been supporting so-called Huquq bureaus which handled more than 80,000 civil cases since 2013. In the same time, to support higher legal education, RoL provided more than 31,500 books to law and sharia faculties, organised more than 190 courses on legal topics for students and lecturers and awarded more than 60 students with scholarships. The programme also emphasises promoting women’s rights and strengthening their access to justice as well as the job market.