Helping women move up in Afghan society
By Olivier Mirguet | Thursday 19 July 2012
Warrant Officer First Class Yvan Reymann (France) is the only Eurocorps soldier assigned to the US military projects focused on the social advancement of outstanding women in Afghanistan. “We identify women in the younger generations, who present significant intellectual potential. We help them access positions of authority in Afghan society,” sums up Reymann, aged 50. Reymann, who comes from the cavalry, is trilingual (French, English and German) and has criss-crossed Afghanistan by road for the last six months. His work falls half-way between humanitarian action and intelligence. “Young women are better educated than men, but they have no rights. To identify the best, our team of 32 coalition soldiers takes part in the public meetings of local political and economic bodies throughout the country.”
The programme, a variant on the PMESII (political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information) military systems approach, boasts a solid track record: in the last six months, Reymann has identified ten distinguished female figures, both civilian and military. They are supported and coached to take up management positions in the Defence Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry or regional governments in Afghanistan. “We include these women in groups where Afghan men are willing to work with them. This is a difficult mission of local and human development, but one in which we can take pride,” acknowledges Warrant Officer Reymann.