Afghan women’s meaningful engagement in peace efforts, and in all areas of society, will benefit Afghanistan as a whole and will be “precedent setting” due to their inclusion, said Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
UNAMA reports that Lyons, together with Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Right Commission (AIHRC), moderated a virtual panel discussion on ‘Women in the Afghan Peace Process’ organised by UN Women and chaired by its country representative, Aleta Miller.
The other panellists included Hasina Safi, Minister of Women’s Affairs; and Habiba Sarabi and Sharifa Zurmati, members of the negotiating team for the Afghanistan.
In her opening remarks, Lyons said it was important for Afghan women and young girls across the country to see an inclusive peace process referring to a global study that showed peace agreements were more durable and successful when women were fully integrated and engaged.
“It’s important for us to recognize the collective role that Afghan women have already played in the search for peace,” she said.
One of the goals of the discussion was also to strategize available avenues for women to participate in any peace process nationally and at the local level.
“Well-functioning networks throughout Afghanistan, where women can participate nationally and at the local level… allows Afghan women to be peace advocates, experts and advisers, and most importantly full participants in the negotiating teams in the peace process,” said the top UN envoy in Afghanistan.