Jalalabad, 30th May 2018- The provision of public spaces in a city is one of the constituent elements of sustainable urbanization. Qualitative public spaces are key drivers for inclusiveness, social cohesion and gender empowerment.

The city of Jalalabad, in the Eastren part of Afghanistan, has recently inaugurated the first Women’s Park in town. The design of an exclusive park for women and girls has been enthusiastically received by Jalalabad’s residents. “We are very happy to have a dedicated space for us where we can spend time and enjoy ourselves freely”, said a regular visitor to this park.

The park covers an area of 8’753 m2 including a community centre, green areas, a water fountain and recreational areas for kids.

Ensuring the inclusion of women in urban planning activities is a top priority for UN-Habitat’s activities worldwide, as enshrined in the New Urban Agenda and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. With a rapidly growing urban population in Afghanistan, cities are becoming essential hubs for women’s financial interdependence, better access to education and job opportunities.

It is in this context that UN-Habitat’s Afghanistan is supporting 12 municipalities in cleaning and greening activities. The Clean and Green City Programme, known as CGC, funded by USAID and the EU, is contributing to the provision of urban basic services in 12 cities in Afghanistan, generating jobs for more than 11000 employees, especially women, returnees and displaced persons. So far, 35 parks are currently under rehabilitation, 450’000 trees have been planted and 95’137 m3 of solid waste have been collected among other activities. Congratulations to Jalalabad for the inauguration of the first female park and to the remaining 11 cities for investing in better Afghan cities for all.