"The government ignores the upcoming generation of females"
Manizha Ramiz heads the women’s committee at the Khatt-e Naw organization. She also teaches at the Accounting and Management Institute and works for Education TV. She was born in Kabul and went to the Ariana High School. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in management and is currently doing a Master's degree in psychology at Kabul University.
Please tell us more about yourself.
I am a kind-hearted person, and in society I have been successful and have achieved what I wanted. I'm very self-confident and I take my responsibilities at work very seriously. My weakest point is my sensitivity in some issues.
How did you reach your goals?
It's important to have a plan and good ideas if you want to reach your goals. The role of family is also important, especially if you have the support of family members such as your brother.
Have you ever faced any social problems?
Our society is a traditional society. It is quite common for women to face problems in that society. Fortunately, I have faced no serious problems yet.
How important is it to be serious while doing management jobs?
In modern management, it's not about making a serious impression as much as it is about motivating your staff. However, it is important to take a serious approach to carrying out responsibilities.
You said you are sensitive. What's the reason behind it?
It's usually related to social factors and sometimes due to work pressure.
What's the difference between being sensitive and being emotional?
From a psychological point of view, being emotional indicates how kind a person is and how soon he or she becomes dependent on others. However, sensitivity is regarded as a negative trait and at times it can bring awful results.
Are you interested in politics?
Yes. I have a normal interest in politics.
To what extent is it feasible for young women such as yourself to get involved in politics in Afghanistan?
In our society, females face countless problems and obstacles. Yes, there are female politicians but there aren't many of them and unfortunately, the problems and obstacles outweigh the opportunities.
What kind of obstacles are you talking about, for example?
There are so many opportunists. For instance, if a woman starts getting involved in politics, suddenly people create dozens of Facebook accounts in her name. Another problem is the older generation of politicians who don't want younger people to win more influence in politics. The government ignores the upcoming generation of females, while reserving the opportunities for women who have long only served a symbolic role in politics. But in addition, young people have failed to reconcile themselves and form a unified movement.
It’s possible to engage in politics through political parties or a number of government and non-government organizations that exist. What is your point of view? Has the younger generation established any kind of equilibrium with these organizations?
There are political parties whose activities have yielded nothing. There is actually a huge discrepancy between the goals of these parties and what the people want. In Afghanistan there are many political parties but most of them cannot even define their goals and objectives. Today’s generation do not accept ethnicity-based political parties. Therefore, I think a proper equilibrium between political parties and people has yet to be established.
What should be done to improve the condition of these political parties?
Actually, these parties have their own charters but the problem is that they do not act upon them. Every political party is linked to a particular ethnic group. Ethnic structures have hindered the development of political parties. It would be great if the young people learned from this experience and engaged themselves in the kind of politics that does not have such critical pitfalls.
You have studied psychology. How does that help you in politics?
Psychology has direct links to sociology. A politician can be successful if he or she is fully aware of society. Unfortunately, most of the people in politics have little knowledge of sociology. If they were acquainted with the principles of sociology and social psychology, many of our problems would be solved.
You said women, especially young women, do not have major political roles. But some say would argue that the younger generation has taken many roles in administrating at the core of government. What do you say to that?
Development is gradual. Young people in administrative and managerial roles is a positive thing, but there are some young people who should be in national positions and are simply ignored.
How much do you think social progress has enabled young people to reach their individual and social goals?
Generally speaking, there is a level of social progress but it's important to ask, where? It can be found in large cities and the first grade provinces, but what about the second and third grade provinces? In those provinces, girls are still banned from going to school. Today, girls are more vulnerable than any other section of society. There are girls who wish to go to school but conditions are not feasible.
How old are you?
I am 25.
Why have not you decided to get married?
That's a good question. I would prefer to reach my goals and objectives first. Until I reach my goals, it's impossible for me to get married. In Afghanistan when a woman gets married, it becomes difficult for her to pursue her goals.
Often young men and women love each other and want to marry, but face resistance from their families. What would you do if that happened to you?
I don't think I'll ever face a problem like that. I know my family will respect my decision. Therefore I will try to involve my family when it comes to making such a decision.
How do you see Afghanistan in 10 years' time?
I think in 10 years' time, the majority of warlords and others who have been creating problems for us will be off the scene. They will be replaced by others who will be wiser. And it will be those people who change the world’s perception of Afghanistan.