Afghanistan’s National Statistics and Information Authority announced today that mothers’ names will be printed on national identity cards but is “optional”. Ahmad Jawed Rasuli, Director General of the National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) said addressing a press conference on Wednesday, September 23, that under a signed legal amendment act, mothers’ names will be included on children’s national ID cards that carry only the name of their father. “The electronic ID cards will carry the name and surname of citizens and their mothers’ alongside the fathers’ names,” said Mr. Rasuli. If anyone refuses their consent to the insertion of mothers’ names in the ID cards, there is a particular option in the identity form where it can be mentioned, he added. According to the Director General of the NSIA, under a proposed amendment to the population registration act, those ID cards that have already been distributed are still valid and there will be plans for a change request. Earlier on September 3, Afghanistan’s cabinet agreed to a proposal to change the population registration law and allow the names of both parents to be included in citizen’s national identity cards. The legal amendment was approved by the country’s parliament and then signed off by the Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on September 17. Afghan women activists for long had been campaigning under a hashtag #WhereIsMyName which called for mothers’ names to be printed alongside fathers’ names on national identity cards.

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