The Kabul Times.
Politics

Female villagers ask for active presence in peace talks

By: Suraya Raiszada

Amid ongoing efforts in national and international levels for Afghanistan’s peace, a number of female villagers ask for active peace in peace talks.
However, war has negatively affected women, but unfortunately, still their partnership in peace talks and other political processes is not visible.
Supporting the government’s peace efforts, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan held a meeting on peace and female villagers’ role during which 25 women from five districts of Herat province gathered together and asked the government for active role in peace negotiations.
A women rights activist from Qads district Maliha said that unfortunately, seven meetings have so far been held on Afghan peace talks in different countries, but no woman attended from remote provinces and villages, thus, we want the opportunity to be given to female villagers so they have active role in the negotiations.
Stressing that women should take part in peace talks, lawmakers say that unfortunately, Afghan women have experienced much inequalities over the course of history, therefore, now, as the opportunity has been provided, women should play role in all issues particularly peace process.
This comes as civil society and women rights advocates’ entities asked the government not to forget women presence in such meetings, because, no process would lead to success without women presence.
A civil society member Farzana Hekmati said that women played key role in all sectors in the society, as they could play active role in democratic processes so far, therefore, ignoring their presence would face the national processes with challenge. She stressed that it is impossible to reach peace without women presence, thus, Afghan women ask for fair and sustainable peace in the country. A member of civil society network and women rights activist Safia Hamnava says that we hope the achievements made over the last one and half a decade not to be wasted by international community decisions and deals.
She asked the government to transparently share all consultations and meetings with the people of Afghanistan.
Earlier, the country’s human rights commission asked Afghanistan’s peace hosting countries not to ignore women active presence in peace talks, as well as asked the warring sides not to limit education and work right for women.
Furthermore, UNAMA stressed on women role and presence in peace negotiations and called their participation imperative. UNAMA says that the people of Afghanistan particularly women and children have the right to live in peace, thus, no process would succeed without women presence.
Likewise, European Union strongly stressed on women role in peace process and said that we are experienced in this respect, therefore, we want the women to be involved in peace talks.
This is while the women could display their successes and capabilities in all sections of the government and they are making effort to have active presence in peace talks, because if their presence is ignored, democratic processes would get harmed in Afghanistan. 

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