Rural women advocate for inclusion in peace discussions
QALA-E-NAW – Women from the rural and conflict-affected districts of the western province of Badghis seek involvement in peace efforts to ensure that their concerns are heard and their rights protected in any agreements.
A group of 25 influential women from five districts came together in Qala-e-Naw, the province’s capital, asking why they are excluded from talks to end the conflict.
Participants in the UNAMA-supported event highlighted numerous cultural and structural barriers that shut women out from many core areas of public and political life.
“It is important that women are included in peace negotiations,” said a women’s rights activist from the district of Qadis.
Another participant from the Bala Morghab district asserted that, “we have faced many obstacles to achieve our rights as women,” while pointing out that many challenges remain, including child marriages and access to education. “In my area, we are not able to continue our education after secondary school,” she said.
Despite the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, and evidence indicating that women are powerful actors in sustaining peace in their communities and nations, their inclusion in peace negotiations and political processes remains minimal.
In 2000, the UN adopted Security Council Resolution 1325, which specifically brought women’s experiences of conflict into the international peace and security agenda, and called for their participation in conflict resolution and peace-building.
Organized by UNAMA regional office in Herat, the event is part of a nationwide initiative to create platforms including radio, social media and television for local communities to engage in local dialogues on pressing issues affecting their communities.
UNAMA is committed to supporting the Afghan Government’s efforts and is working with a variety of institutions and actors to promote gender equality and non-discrimination, in keeping with the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan and aspirations of the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind.