Afghan Women’s Network, Coalition of Women for Peace “Our Voice, for Our Future”, representatives of eight zones of the country.
Serial No: 157
Date: Dalwa 16. 1399 coincided with February 04, 2020 Kabul – Afghanistan
This statement was prepared and published after consultative meetings in 8 zones of the country, in the provinces of (Kabul, Herat, Kunduz, Nangarhar, Balkh, Bamyan, Paktia, Kandahar) with the participation of representatives from Panjshir, Parwan, Kapisa, Maidan Wardak and representatives from Kalkan, Mir Bacha Kot, Shakardara, Paghman, Bagrami, Deh Sabz, Qarabagh, Chahar Asyab, Stalf and Farza districts, members of the Citizenship Covenant Program in the National Conference on the women’s meaningful participation as guarantors of just and lasting peace in Afghanistan and based on the results of conducting panels with officials and integrating the views of participants in this conference with the aim of assessing the current situation and getting advocacy plans to ensure a just and lasting peace with the participation of women in the peace process.
By assessing the role of women in the peace process, we found out that from the start there has been no clear mechanism for participation of women in the peace process. And if women make up more than 50 percent of the country’s population, then the presence of 4 women representatives in the negotiating team and the absence of civil society representatives in the composition of Afghan delegations is not logical. On the other hand, Taliban representatives proved that there is no change in their views about women by not involving women in their delegations. Whereas, considering participation of women in different sectors and at different levels, we are at the stage of women’s development where women are not satisfied with a 30 percent share in leadership as well as political, economic, social, cultural and educational sectors. Therefore, ignoring their demands and not accepting women’s social position will never achieve peace and will put women in the darkness of the past.
On the other hand, Afghan women do not consider holding consultative meetings with US Special Representative for Afghanistan effective. Afghan women complain that they have repeatedly shared their suggestions and positions with him and asked him for his commitments to ensure meaningful participation and take into account the demands of women in the peace process, however, there has been neither practical measures and nor progress in their demands and suggestions. Similarly, consultations with women in the provinces and their involvement in the peace process has been so weak and women from remote areas underestimate their role in peace process.
Meanwhile, since the start of the peace process, no practical measures have been taken by the Taliban to accept the demands of women. Whereas, delays in peace negotiations, the closure of girls’ schools during negotiations, taking Afghan homes as shelter by Taliban, Taliban’s struggle for more credits in the peace process and women’s lack of access to social services in Taliban-controlled areas are the cases that have hurt the sense of mutual acceptance and it prolongs reaching to a common understanding to end the war.
By emphasizing the meaningful participation of women in the peace process and emphasizing that Afghan women will never go back! We propose the following suggestions to the parties involved:
Women’s suggestions for the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
- Afghan women do not accept any secret decision that does not take into account their demands;
- We women want increase of women in the peace negotiating team, as well as, decision-making, consultative and monitoring levels in the peace process;
- In addition to the presence of political and party representatives, the representation of women, civil society, war victims, disabled, youth and minorities among the people of Afghanistan in the negotiating team is important, necessary and essential;
- We women support a republic form of government and consider the protection of Islamic Republic as one of our base lines. Any kind of interim and transitional government is not the solution. Let us look at the solution of this problem with a logical view and not repeat bitter experiences;
- We call on the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) to observe transparency and accountability as an important principle in the peace process, and sometimes share progress and developments in the peace process with the people of Afghanistan;
- The High Council for National Reconciliation Council of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan shall establish and implement a clear mechanism for women’s participation and consideration of the role of women in the entire peace process, from negotiations to agreements and the post-peace phase, which ensures respect for women’s human rights;
- We call on the Ministry of State for Peace Affairs to play an active role in the peace talks by launching effective programs and providing participation opportunities to women, youth, war victims, disabled, media and minorities;
- Afghan women emphasize and advocate for a transparent and accountable peace process. The current peace process in Afghanistan needs to be closely monitored to ensure that the base lines of women, support for victims of war, rights of people with disabilities, youth and minorities are taken into account and prevent the promotion of culture of impunity;
- Social peace guarantees political peace, and the government must plan and implement effective plans in this regard;
- Women complain about the double standards of government in women treatment, which will never be acceptable to them. The government must seriously act to eliminate and prevent it;
- A just, lasting and dignified peace can only be achieved through social justice. A peace in which the rights of all citizens are respected and is a positive peace. Only then it will be acceptable to Afghan women.
- Any kind of violence against women harms them in being active in the peace process. We call on the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to prevent all forms of violence against women and eliminate gender inequality in society.
Suggestions for Negotiating Delegates
- National interests of Afghans are a priority. No one can trade the values stipulated in Chapter II of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the achievements of Afghans which they have achieved with hardships and sacrifice;
- Agreement on a ceasefire shall be a priority in negotiations and commitment shall be to end war and bring a just and lasting peace and increase confidence in the peace process, which Afghan women have repeatedly emphasized on;
- We all know that war is not the solution and going back to the past will not be a practical desire, so insisting on unjust desires will be of no use except wasting time;
- You [representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and representatives of the Taliban) should know that the fate of more than 36 million people in this land is in your hands. From the beginning of the peace talks until now, do you consider the progress acceptable to you? By assessing this, you can take better actions;
- We discuss Afghan peace in foreign countries. If Afghans are then victims, then they have the right to be the owners of peace. Both sides must agree to continue negotiations in Afghanistan;
- Any delay in negotiations will weaken people’s trust in you and will bring your status under question at both national and international levels and this will increase people’s concerns;
- The people of Afghanistan are witnessing the killing of civilians and elites of this land every day, you are responsible for increasing violence in the country and you will surely be held accountable to the people of Afghanistan;
- Afghan women would like to have talks and direct communication with the Taliban to share women’s views and demands for ensuring women’s participation, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability of the process for a just and lasting peace.
Suggestions for Neighbouring Countries and International Community
- Afghanistan needs political peace. This peace will be achieved with the responsible attitude of the international community as a strategic supporter of Afghanistan which has a fundamental impact and valuable role in the peace process. Moreover, your impartial approach will reflect effective cooperation at the international level;
- We call on the neighboring countries to show their sincere and peaceful will in the Afghan peace process. We call on each of the neighboring countries to take an active part in facilitating the Afghan peace process by cutting off financial and military support to the insurgents, and remember that peace in Afghanistan will ensure peace in the region and the world;
- We call on the new Government of the United States of America to stand with us in the fight against terrorism and to help us go through these difficult times so that we establish a just, dignified and lasting peace in our country. You can facilitate this process by re-evaluating the U.S.-Taliban agreement, and make it conditional on a ceasefire and an end to civilian assassinations and violence;
- We call on the international community to stand by its commitment to protecting human rights around the world, and prioritize the protection of the human rights of the Afghan people, especially women and by bringing international pressure try to bring peace to Afghanistan;
- We call on the international community to monitor and guarantee peace agreements in Afghanistan, so that we may achieve a just and lasting peace with a global guarantee.
AFGHAN WOMEN’S NETWORK Address: Shar-i-Now – Ansari Sqaure – Kulula Pushta Road – Street 3 House No 311, Kabul – Afghanistan
Email: email@example.com Contact No: 0766776828