Allow Afghan Women to Give Massages: Army Adviser
A Swedish army gender adviser in Afghanistan has taken the Armed Forces to task for only employing local men to perform massages on troops stationed in Mazar-E-Sharif. In a written internal document submitted from Swedish headquarters at Camp Northern Lights, Gender Field Adviser Captain Krister Fahlstedt of Afghanistan force FS17 took exception to an army contract specifying that on-base massage services should be provided exclusively by men.
"It's not important as such whether women eventually get the job, what's important is that there's equality of opportunity and they are treated on the same terms as men," Fahlstedt told The Local.
"Contracts of this kind must always be gender neutral, and this is actually the only time I've seen an army contract worded in this way," he added.
Fahlstedt, active in both the Centre Party and the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), returned earlier this month to Sweden from service with the FS17 force.
He remains hopeful that the army will rectify the situation and begin considering the possibility of employing Afghan masseuses.