Today ( 19.08.19) Afghanistan celebrates its 100 years of independence, and Afghan women have a more significant contribution to the building of Afghan history, economic development, and stability of the country than is usually recognized. Afghan women have often held special status, from governing various parts of the country, to mediating between warring tribes, to influencing the security, politics and development of the country. They have worked and advocated tirelessly for peace and stability throughout the history of Afghanistan.
Today Afghan girls and women are 15.5 million out of 31.6 million population; 3,126 Afghan women are National Police and 1,179 are in the Afghan National Army and that includes officers and captains. At least 3,755 Afghan women are doctors; 101,150 are university students; 2,477 are university professors; and 66,076 are teachers while 3,513,757 of school students are Afghan girl. 85,177 Afghan women are civil servants, 240 are judges, 800 are businesswomen, 3 are ministers, 10 are deputy ministers, and 4 are Ambassadors. In addition, Afghan women have invested around $77 million in private sector through 1700 companies.
Since women comprise half of the country’s population and are prominent stakeholders in the public and private sectors, Afghan women present their positions to the negotiation teams on both sides of the intra-Afghan dialogue. These positions are prioritized chronologically: 1) complete ceasefire, 2) preservation of the government system as the Islamic Republic, 3) preservation of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, 4) social and political participation of women, 5) and protection of women’s rights that are granted to all Afghans by Afghanistan’s constitution chapter 2 and the International Human Rights conventions.
From 2001 to 2018, the total death toll in Afghanistan is 147,000, and 38,480 are civilians, nearly 4000 civilians were killed and injured so far in 2019. Peace is one of the basic rights of each individual in this country. This war has affected the entire country, but more specifically, women and children. There are more than 600,000 widows in Afghanistan.
Therefore, as the population most affected by the war and crucial stakeholders in the security sector of Afghanistan, Afghan women demand a complete ceasefire. Even after the reduction of violence agreed in last intra-Afghan dialogue, the killing of civilians continues. Afghan women call on the Taliban to uphold their commitments in order to build trust with the people, especially the women, of Afghanistan.
THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN
Since the Afghan constitution and civil codes are based on Islamic values, the Afghan women strongly believe that the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” is an Islamic country. The preamble to the Afghan constitution starts by emphasizing this basis, stating: “We the people of Afghanistan: Believing firmly in Almighty God, relying on His divine will and adhering to the Holy religion of Islam.” To provide for the continuity of Islamic government, the constitution of the Islamic Republic guarantees women’s full participation in Afghanistan’s elections, freedom of speech, accountability of governing bodies to the Afghan public, freedom of the press, and access to information. Afghan women were 38% of the voters in the presidential election of 2014, and 33% in parliamentarian polls of 2019. In contrast, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan denied women the rights to education, the rights to work and to participate in socio-economic spheres of the country, which is contrary to the practices that the Islamic World from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan enjoy. The Islamic Emirate also degraded the country’s economic development because they denied women the right to work, which is half of the country’s human resources. Thus, women of Afghanistan support and stand by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the success already achieved in building it up with so many sacrifices of the last 18 years.
PRESERVATION OF AFGHANISTAN’S CONSTITUTION
The present constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was agreed upon by more than 502 delegates representing Afghan men and women from across the country at the Constitutional Loya Jirga and formally ratified on January 26, 2004. Article three of the constitution does not allow any law or any sections of the constitution to contradict the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam. Articles one and two declare Afghanistan as the Islamic Republic, independent, unitary, and indivisible state. The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of the law to practice their faith and religious rituals.
Therefore, Afghan women support and stand by preservation of the Afghan constitution. More specifically, Afghan women demand the protection of chapter two of the constitution, which guarantees the fundamental rights and duties of citizens through 38 articles. In Addition, Afghan women do not allow changes in:
- article 4, that protects the nationality and ethnicities of all citizens of Afghanistan;
- article 7, that obligates Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations Charter;
- article 19, that preserves the three colors flag of Afghanistan;
- article 22, that prohibits any kind of discrimination among Afghan citizens;
- article 34, that protects freedom of expression and speech of every Afghan;
- article 48, that protects women rights to work as Afghan citizens
- article 149, that protects the current constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
WOMEN’S POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
Article 48 of the Afghan constitution gives the right to work to every Afghan, whether man or woman. The practices of Islamic countries and their interpretation of Shari’a indicate no hindrance in political participation of women. The examples of Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey, Senegal, Kyrgyzstan, and Malaysia, that have had female prime ministers, are the proof that Islam does not prohibit women’s right to political participation. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has recently appointed a female ambassador to the United States of America. Afghan women demand no less than these Islamic nations and claim their full entitlement to the Afghan political arena and the right to work and to pursue a political career. Afghan women protect all of these rights.
Article 22 of the Afghan constitution prohibits any discrimination and distinction between citizens of Afghanistan, and all the citizens of Afghanistan, men and women, have equal rights and duties before the law. The holy religion of Islam gives women the right to education and development and insists on complete justice ‘ Adalat’. Furthermore, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, where the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a nation member, guarantees all human beings equal rights. Hence, Afghan women are entitled to preserve the right to education, the right to mobility, the right to work and to participate in the political and economic spheres of the country.
Afghanistan is one of the least educated and least literate nations, especially compared to other countries in the region. The main reasons for Afghanistan lagging behind are the conflict and the policies under the Taliban regime that closed school doors for Afghan girls. Since 2001 school enrollment has risen to 9 million students. Afghan women will not stand for deterioration of the progress in education, and certainly do not want our next generations to suffer what we have suffered. The current Afghan education system should be kept open for both boys and girls, and positive development in all fields of academic study should be encouraged and pursued. Equal access to education, including primary, secondary and university levels, and equal allocation of educational resources and opportunities must be guaranteed for all Afghans, particularly for women and girls. Afghan women and girls should not be limited, for any reason, from pursuing their highest academic potential. Afghan women urge all parties in the intra-Afghan peace talks to be committed to serving the nation by educating all Afghan youth, specifically Afghan women and girls.
Neither domestic nor international actors
involved in the Afghan conflict give due significance to the tragic loss of
Afghan lives. During the 40 years of conflict, the parties have failed to
comply with International Humanitarian Law although Afghanistan is party to the
Geneva Conventions. The conventions
obligate the state parties to investigate the violations of International
Humanitarian Law by individuals or groups in each party. Therefore, Afghan
women have appealed to the UN Security Council (UNSC) with substantial evidence
about war crimes and demand that Truth Commissions be formed after a peace
agreement, so that parties and groups who have committed war crimes would be
 Annual report of National Statistics Department, 1397
 Human Cost of the Post-9/11 Wars: Lethality and the Need for Transparency: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2018/Human%20Costs%2C%20Nov%208%202018%20CoW.pdf
 .(Hamid Bamik. Afghanistan: The Country of Widows. The Daily Outlook Afghanistan. June 24, 2018 (http://www.outlookafghanistan.net/topics.php?post_id=21182
 The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan