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Women’s role in peace talks, national issues diminishes: Poll

Women’s role in peace talks, national issues diminishes: Poll

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Apr 27, 2019 - 19:27

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A survey conducted by the Afghanistaninfo-icon Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) shows womeninfo-icon’s presence in peace negotiations, development and major national issues has weakened.

Launched on February 6 and still underway, the survey’s initial findings were revealed today by the AIHRC at a conference titled ‘Women, peace and security’.

The survey interviewed 5,363 people (4,710 women and 653 men) in 33 provinces of the country.

Talking to the conference, Seema Samar, AIHRC head, said the aim of the survey was to collect views, concerns and suggestions of women regarding peace, democracy and elections.

She said women’s interest in having equal representations in all meetings had increased because women constituted 51 percent of the country’s population.

Women’s opinions on peace, democracy and elections

Women interviewed in the survey believe a stable peace in Afghanistan would mean justice and improvement of law enforcement.

They say each citizen of the country should live without fear of poverty, brutality and injustices when peace comes.

Women in the survey say they were always forced to bear heavy burdens, deep pains and lost their beloved ones to the country’s four decades of war. However, they say their presence in the power structure such as peace talks and development was always weak.

The participants of the survey believe that good governance, people’s access to human rights, provision of justice and responses to war crimes could lead to a stable peace in the country.

Women’s concerns regarding peace process

Participants of the poll say people, particularly women, are seriously worried about the fate of achievements made over the past 18 years in the ongoing peace process.

They also are worried about absence of women in peace negotiations, about Talibaninfo-icon’s old misogynistic and extremist views in political system, inattention to women of rural areas, lack of justice in the peace process, continued violence and deals on freedom of citizens.

The respondents in the survey also provided their suggestions and stressed the importance of an active and effective presence of women during peace negotiations.

Demands and suggestions of women

The respondents of the survey asked for maintenance of justice and assistance to war victims as the main topic of peace talks.

Respecting human rights values as a principle line, presence of UN as an observer, support of the international community and the Afghan government for peace, continuation of the Islamic system as well as the rights and basic freedom of citizens by the government, ceasefire, guarantee for prevention of repetition of war and protection of the achievements of the past 18 years were other suggestions of the women.

Meanwhile, AIHRC asked the Consultative Loya Jirgainfo-icon on peace, civil societyinfo-icon, international community, insurgents, particularly the Taliban, to consider the findings of the survey during peace talks.

mds/ma

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