Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) has called on the United States, Germany, other international actors, and all Afghan parties to ensure that Afghan women, youth, and other marginalized voices are meaningfully included in the peace process and protected in any agreement.
This summer, the German Government will convene an intra-Afghan dialogue on peace. So far, Afghan women’s and youth’s participation in the U.S.-mediated peace process and other track II talks has been either missing or non-significant, despite constant calls on all facilitators, as per the press statement of AWN.
AWN, as an all-women platform for peace, called on all participants and facilitating partners to ensure Afghan women, youth, and other marginalized communities are meaningfully included in all dialogues. AWN has conducted extensive consultations with its organizational and individual members and communities across Afghanistan. It has found that all Afghan women are concerned about the lack of inclusion of women’s and other marginalized voices in this peace process.
As such, AWN, on behalf of its organizational and individual members and the wider women’s rights movement in Afghanistan, called on:
Firstly, All sides to declare a ceasefire to stop the bloodshed and create an environment for dialogue.
Secondly, Germany to ensure Afghan women, youth, and other marginalized groups are meaningfully included in the upcoming dialogue. 50% of participants should be Afghan women, including from rural areas. They should participate as independent members of civil society as well as in the delegations of all sides. They must be part of design of pre- and post-agreement processes and bodies, including as session leaders, mediators, facilitators, implementer, and monitors.
Thirdly, Germany and others to further encourage civil society’s participation through an inclusive platform for discussion of the ground realities and demands of all Afghans, including women, youth, religious and ethnic minorities, the disabled, and particularly the victims of conflict.
Moreover, Germany, as the facilitator of the dialogue, to actively call to safeguard the human rights of Afghan women and all Afghans. This must be on the negotiating agenda. This is in line with the German Government’s commitments to Women, Peace, and Security, as well as the constitutional order and democratic institutions, which must be protected.
Furthermore, Germany and other international partners to ensure that at least 30% of any international aid package post-agreement is primarily dedicated to women and youth, as they are the catalysts to vibrant democratic society in Afghanistan.
Additionally, the competing Afghan presidential candidates and parties to not let election competition overshadow their unity for a peaceful Afghanistan. Various consultative platforms, including the Peace Jirga, show that the Afghan people prioritize peace as the prime need. All Afghan political actors must respect this demand, use their platforms to call for the safeguarding of Afghan women’s rights and human rights, and ensure their delegations meaningfully include 50% women as well as youth and other marginalized voices.
Finally, The Taliban Movement to use this round of talks to clearly state their stance on Afghan women’s rights, including “under Islam.” They should commit to guarantee women’s rights in the areas under their control and cease deliberate attacks on women as a gesture of peace.