Yet the Kabul Process is already missing a crucial factor to a successful outcome. Research shows that full participation by women in peace negotiations increases the chances of a deal being reached and it being successful. Yet the “family photo” of the meeting participants, 47 Afghan and foreign dignitaries, included only two Afghan women.

In previous talks, Afghan women have sometimes been totally absent, sometimes been relegated to note-taking roles, and have never appeared in numbers sufficient to transcend tokenism. A long-promised plan by the Afghan government to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for women’s equal participation in issues surrounding peace and security, has been beset by delays and apathy.

The Kabul Process aims to bring together regional actors to support peace, and to put the Afghan government more clearly in charge than in prior efforts. But in the marginalization of women, the Kabul Process is already a continuation of earlier, unsuccessful, efforts.

This is a grave mistake for all Afghans who long for security. Last week, Afghan women died beside men in the bombing, and marched beside men in the protest. If peace is to come, they must also sit next to men at the negotiating table.