MONITORING (SW) – The Afghan government and the Taliban have been urged to ensure meaningful participation of women in the peace process.
The Embassies of the Commonwealth of Australia, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Delegation of the European Union, welcomed the formation of the High Council for National Reconciliation. In a joint statement they hoped that this will quickly be followed by the announcement of the date for the commencement of the intra-Afghan Negotiations. These are critical steps toward an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace.
It is now urgent that both the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban insist on the meaningful participation of women in these negotiations. It said history showed peace agreements were more durable and successful when women are fully integrated and engaged.
“The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban must actively include women in all dimensions of the peace process; leadership councils, negotiating teams, consultative shuras, technical and advisory teams. We urge both sides to redouble efforts to appoint a greater number of qualified women to these bodies”, it said.
It also emphasized the importance of men as crucial advocates for gender equality and urged them to actively promote the involvement of women in the process and thoughtfully consider issues that distinctly affect women.
“The fundamental rights of Afghan women enshrined in the Afghan constitution must be preserved and strengthened as part of the peace process. These include women’s rights to work, education, freedom of movement and association, and access to health care”, it said.
The statement noted no country can succeed while ignoring half its population. “The chance for a peaceful and prosperous future Afghanistan relies on recognising the power and harnessing the unrealised potential of Afghan women”, it added.