By: Suraya Raiszada
As efforts are underway for starting intra-Afghan talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban, a number of civil society activists and members of peace negotiating team in interviews with The Kabul Times while supporting peace efforts led by Afghans say Taliban should accept that Afghan women are not the women of 20 year back as today’s women want their rights to be completely protected and respective in peace talks.
In connection with whether Taliban’s position over Taliban has changed or not, Mary Akrami, head of Afghan Women Network and a member of the Afghan negotiating team say Taliban has its own position and will never change, but we are trying to pass our clear message to them as they are aware that Afghan women are protecting their achievements and let no group to decide on their rights in their absence.
“As a representative of Afghan women, my last message to the Taliban is that Afghan women are not the women they were 20 years ago; therefore, Taliban should k know and accept that today’s women working in various sectors will continue their work as usual,” Akrami said, hoping Afghan women can either defend their rights and achievements and represent women living in remote areas of the country and share all demands of the women with Taliban.
Head of Afghan Women Network stressed that she as representative of Afghan women in negotiating team would make effort to raise various issues as protection of the republic and protection of recent achievements of Afghan women in talks with the Taliban group.
Considering role and active part of Afghan women in peace talks as effective, Akrami assured that the Afghan peace negotiating team’s members in particular women would spare no efforts for the active and meaningful presence of women in talks with the Taliban.
According to head of Afghan Women Network, Afghan women’s voice in coming peace talks is rational; therefore, all human rights values in particular women rights should be considered in peace talks with the Taliban.Maryam Zamani, a member of Afghanistan Evolution Party, says no process will be successful without active presence of Afghan women.
“In consideration that Afghan women have suffered lots of sacrifices and are now victim of the ongoing war, they should be given meaningful role in peace talks with Taliban,” Zamani stressed.
Zamani further said that presence of Afghan women in High Council for National Reconciliation and consultation with women are the right of Afghan women; therefore, their role and active part should not be ignored in peace talks.
Meanwhile, a number of civil society and women support organizations also believe that Afghan women have suffered various problems during the Taliban regime; therefore, they want to clearly raise their women-related issues in face to face talks with the Taliban group.
“Peace is a previous opportunity for Afghan women and it is time for the country’s active women to make use of the opportunity for their political demands, change of women’s overall condition and their part in big political decisions,” said Farishta Hakimi, a lecturer at a private university.
She added that presence of Afghan women in various social, political and cultural sectors has been always considered as debatable issues and undoubtedly presence of women in backward and under-developed countries and their mobilization is key.
It is worth mentioning that Afghan women have been able to fight current challenges in the worst circumstances in the society and relatively get their rights from point of education, political, social, cultural and economic activities.