Internally Displaced Persons in Afghanistan: When Women and Girls are the Worst Sufferers of War and Instability

Ms Barin Sultani Haymon’s report titled “The Cycle of Struggle: A Human Security Perspective on Afghanistan’s IDP Women” which was launched on Tuesday in London by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security, points out that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in general and IDP women in particular tend to get neglected as the larger focus is often gather by refugee and migrant crisis. But the IDPs continue to remain entrapped in the vicious cycle of poverty and marginalisation and what Ms Haymon is trying to argue is that IDPs are a matter of international concern as well. She believes that IDPs need as much attention as international migrants and refugees garner as both kinds of displacement are traumatic.

Women’s Regional Network is a group of civil society leaders that capture the perspectives and agency of marginalised women in the development and design of political discourse, policy development as well as program implementation. Ms Barin Sultani Haymon released her report on the research that she has done under the aegis of WRN in the field of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), with a special focus on Afghanistan.

Primary research on IDP women in Afghanistan was carried out by field visits in the provinces of Kunduz, Takhar, and Kabul. The sample
population for interview included 150 girls and women from the age range of 16-70 years. The participants were mostly unexposed to formal education and had a largely agrarian background.

The findings of the paper by Haymon reflected that the ongoing security problem of Afghanistan has somehow rendered the matter of IDP to a lower prioritised slot, which is worrisome. Thus, she suggests that there is an urgent need for a comprehensive national IDP policy in Afghanistan as the current scenario of insecurity is only increasing the figures of those that are displaced internally.

Several other recommendations have been made in the paper which largely reflect the utter neglect and shadow under which IDPs are living in Afghanistan. From livelihood economic concerns, to basic human rights, from gendered aspect of the internal displacement to the legal impediments that IDPs face, Ms Haymon’s work is an embodiment of the various problems that need urgent attention by various stakeholders like the government, local and international organisations, and others.

The focus on human security has tended to take centre-stage in the world of security studies wherein issues like the one discussed above give the larger agency and focus to the human factor rather than the conventional state-centric approach. It is indeed a human security perspective in the larger study of the world and international relations that helps track down real problems.

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