Women as negotiators, mediators and peace brokers emphasized in radio shows

7 Oct 2020

Women as negotiators, mediators and peace brokers emphasized in radio shows

GARDEZ/JALALABAD – Women need to be meaningfully involved to end the conflict, including in ongoing peace negotiations, said panellists appearing in radio programmes in the country’s southeast and eastern provinces.

Speaking during a series of UNAMA-backed radio discussions in the provinces of Ghazni, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktika and Paktya, participants discussed of importance of women’s inclusion and participation in peace and security.

They stressed that women are skilled peace-brokers, experienced negotiators and key to the success and subsequent implementation of any future peace deals.

“If we look at Islamic history and that of our nation and the world,” explained Azizullah Jibran, a youth activist from Paktya, “We see that women, at different stages, have played significant and brave roles.”

Jibran went on to name some notable women in Afghanistan’s history, “Malalai and many other women stood shoulder to shoulder with their male companion to work for peace, reconciliation and the development of the country.”

Similar views were echoed by participants in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

Panellist Ruhullah Lalpurwal challenged some societal depictions of women as weak. He underscored the importance of drawing on the strength, knowledge and skills of women as peacemakers, mediators and negotiators.

“As we had seen in our history, in some cases, when male mediators failed to solve conflicts, women took over, mediated, negotiated and succeeded in solving conflicts and ending tribal and family rivalries” explained Lalpurwal, a member of the civil society in Jalalabad.

On Paktya’s Zwand Radio, the three-strong women panel stressed the importance of women’s participation in processes that impact on their lives and that of their families and communities, particularly rural women.

Nasreen Oryakhel, Paktya provincial women affairs director, said that rural women are among the most impacted by the war and it should therefore be logical that their voices on a ceasefire and peace are sought and considered. Oryakhel also expressed confidence that the women representatives in the peace discussions will protect the interest of all Afghan women.

Listeners and social media users in the eastern provinces took to social media to weigh in on the discussions.

“Now I know that women also can play an important role in matters of peace and ceasefire,” said Yusra Rahmani, a listener of Sharq Radio of Jalalabad.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 reaffirms the vital role of women in the resolution of conflict. It stresses the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

Supported by UNAMA field offices in Gardez and Jalalabad, the radio programmes reached thousands of participants including on social media platforms.