Afghanistan says mother’s name can go on birth certificates

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The Afghan government has accepted a proposal to put mothers’ names on their children’s birth certificates, in a win for women’s rights activists in the 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.

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 lawmaker who chairs the parliamentary commission on women’s affairs, and other MPs to be presented to the house after its summer break ends on Sept. 21.

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

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