On 10 April, the GICHD and GMAP co-hosted a public event titled “Including Men and Boys with Disabilities in Afghanistan”. Afghanistan is one of the countries most affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), with more than 1,400 communities impacted. In 2016, men and boys made up 85% of the more than 1,900 recorded casualties. Men and boy victim of mines/ERW suffer the consequences of their injuries in gendered ways, including in their access to services and education, mobility and social and economic opportunities.
The event invited a diverse range of panelists, who came to speak in their professional and personal capacity. They introduced the context of Afghanistan before explaining in more details what victim assistance is and the areas of complementary between victim assistance and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The discussion drifted towards an introduction to masculinities and health care systems where panelists tried to answer how men and boys adapt to their new situation after surviving a landmine accident, and the consequences on their own masculinities, their families and their communities.
The discussion was moderated by Elke Hottentot, Victim Assistance Technical Advisor at Humanity and Inclusion (formerly known as Handicap International). The event also featured testimonies from Afghan survivors. The panelists invited to speak were:
Dr. Claire Somerville, Executive Director, Gender Centre, Graduate Institute
Facundo Chávez Penillas, Human Rights and Disability Advisor, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Firoz Alizada, Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s Implementation Support Officer
Marc Zlot, Physical Rehabilitation Program Coordinator, International Committee of the Red Cross
Omara Khan Muneeb, Director of Development and Ability Organization (DAO)
GMAP is looking forward to see what will result from that discussion. We wish to bring forth the topic of masculinities and victim assistance, and will continue to explore the gendered ways in which women, girls, boys and men are affected by mines/ERW.