Ghani misses deadline to include women in peace process: HRW
Human Rights Watch said in September 2015, the government of President Ashraf Ghani promised its key international donors it would finalise an implementation plan by year’s end and begin carrying it out in the first half of 2016.
Afghan officials have confirmed to Human Rights Watch that the plan has not been finished,” the HRW said in a statement.
It said activists had urged donor governments to press the Afghan government to complete the plan, share drafts with donors, and seek funding for plan activities. Donors have yet to speak out publicly regarding the government’s failure to do so.
“Women’s rights activists in Afghanistan have been fighting for years for a place at the table where the future of their country is being decided,” said Heather Barr, senior researcher on women’s rights at Human Rights Watch.
“The Afghan government’s failure to meet the promised deadline for developing this plan suggests a lack of seriousness about giving women the role to which they’re entitled.”
The watchdog said Afghan women’s rights activists had repeatedly called for women’s full participation in the peace talks, as set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and later resolutions.
In June 2015, the Afghan government presented a national action plan to implement Security Council Resolution 1325 from 2015 through 2022.
“President Ghani should ensure women are full participants in every stage of the peace process and should produce a plan detailing the steps that are needed do so,” Barr said. “Research from around the world shows that women’s participation increases the effectiveness, success, and sustainability of peace processes, so all Afghans will lose if women continue to be shut out.”
A 2014 study by Oxfam found that in 23 rounds of informal peace talks involving the Afghan government and the Taliban between 2005 and 2014, women were present on only two occasions. No women were ever included in the discussions between international negotiators and the Taliban that were examined by Oxfam.
Representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States, and China met on Monday in Islamabad to agree on a roadmap for revived peace negotiations.
HRW said President Ghani had assured women’s rights activists that they would be included in negotiations, but had also suggested that he did not intend to include women throughout the process, saying that he “will not bother them until the right time.”
On September 5, 2015, high-level representatives of more than three dozen donor nations convened in Kabul for a “Senior Officials Meeting.
At the meeting, President Ghani made a number of commitments to donors, including the promise that it would finalise the 1325 implementation plan by the end of 2015 and begin implementing it in the first half of 2016.
“Donors have stayed silent while the Afghan government missed this crucial deadline and continues shutting women out of peace talks, “ Barr said.
“The donors should show that they are serious about Resolution 1325 by pressing Kabul to produce a concrete and immediate plan for how women will be part of the process.”
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.