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IHRC seeking women share at all stage of peace process

By: Suraya Raiszada

KABUL: The Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan (IHRCA) wants the presence of women at all spheres of peace process, including decision-making, planning, negotiation and implementation of the peace agreement,
Also, the commission said women concerns, demands and suggestions should also be heard.
“Women in Afghanistan have had a difficult year and the beginning of 2021 was also a bitter year for them especially for those women who participated in political and social activities,” Shahzad Akbar, the chairwoman of the Independent Human Rights Commission said.
At least six Afghan women have been killed for their social activities, since the beginning of 2021, said the activist.
She said Afghan women have gained significant achievements over the last two decades with continued efforts and many sacrifices in various political, social, economic and cultural areas, but they still face serious challenges and problems and suffer high levels of vulnerability.
The commission described women as one of the main victims of armed conflict in the country and added that the continuing war had led to human rights abuses against citizens, especially women, so they should be present at all stages of the peace process.
“No process, especially the peace process, will be successful without women presence,” said Fauzia Kofi, leader of the Movement of Change for Afghanistan Party, one of the women who attended peace talks with the Taliban representatives in Doha.
She stressed that women during and after the Taliban have suffered a lot from the group and are also victims of war in this country, so they should play a significant role in the peace process.
A number of Afghan civil society activists and women’s rights groups also believe that women have suffered the most during the Taliban regime, so they want to raise women’s issues face-to-face in the peace talks going with the group.
Safia Hamnava, a women’s rights activist and a member of civil society also said that it was a fact that women have made significant achievements in all areas over the recent years and want their achievements to be preserved in the peace negotiations.
“We, the entire Afghan women, are worried about the future of these negotiations and we call on the government, the international community and other parties involved, to preserve the achievements of women in the peace negotiations,” said the activist.
Now that peace talks have become warmer than ever, the government of Afghanistan and a number of world and regional countries are involved in work in this field so they should know that women want all peace relating issues to be shared with them.
However, the leadership of the government of Afghanistan says that the government has always pursued peace efforts in consultation with various segments of the country and the role of civil society and women activists have not been overlooked by the government.
Civil society and women activists emphasized that guaranteeing the achievements of the last nearly two decades of the Afghan people in peace negotiations could only be possible through the active and decisive presence of civil society and women in the process.
Some women rights supporting foreign countries in entity including Germany, Denmark, Australia, Canada and the European Union are concerned about Afghan women rights in the ongoing peace talks.
Fariha a women activist and lecturer at a private university believed peace is a valuable opportunity for the Afghan women and that they have to avail the opportunity and take part in the major decision-making processes for changing their current status.
Undoubtedly, the presence and participation of women in both backward and developing countries and their mobilization is important in development processes. “Women have now high potential alongside men in the society and can take active part in many important issues such as election, peace, international meetings and being a voice for the Afghan women,” she said.

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