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A Journey From Torkham to Kabul

By Farzana Ali, Bureau Chief, Aaj News, Peshawar

After we crossed the Torkham border, for 13 kilometers there were lines of containers and trucks stranded on the roadside. We asked our driver to stop the car. We wanted to ask the drivers of the standing vehicles if they were interested in telling us what the problem was. A few of them agreed to share their plight, and she recorded the conversation through the cell phone. Based on the information obtained, the story on the issues of trading between the two countries was developed and shared with the head office.

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The Appeal of Afghan Daughter

By Farzana Ali

In a feeble and subdued voice through WhatsApp, Saeeda Ghazni was telling me, “I cannot be the same anymore; I am in some kind of a mental distress. I am unable to make my dreams come true.” A student of International Relations, at the University of Afghanistan, Saeeda Ghazniwal, had many dreams for herself and her country, but now she feels that all her dreams are shattered and would never come true. Saeeda in tears told me “do you know that my dreams are ruined. I am a daughter of Afghanistan but I am helpless.

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What’s Next for Afghan Women: An Interview with Judge Najla Ayoubi

By Najla Ayoubi

It was years ago, in 1992, but the day is etched in Judge Najla Ayoubi’s memory. She was at home, on the outskirts of Kabul, when she heard the crack of a gunshot nearby. She ran outside to find someone collapsed in the street. Anxious to help, Najla hurried past a neighbor who told her it was her father. As he lay bleeding, dying, Najla went to grab a head covering she dared not leave without and rushed her father to the hospital. It was too late. Eight other people were assassinated that day.

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Women’s Groups in India, Pakistan Have a Role to Play in Afghanistan’s Reconstruction

By Rita Manchanda

If ever Gayatri Spivak’s narrative of ‘white men saving brown women from brown men’ rang true it was in the discourse of ‘liberating’ Afghan women, mobilised to morally justify bombing a country continents away and of plunging its people into a war that “they did not ask for”. In four decades of violent strife as intra and international players laid waste Afghanistan’s land and society, Afghan women’s protection and rights were weaponised in the geopolitical manoeuvrings of powerful global and regional actors...

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By nterview by Frank van Lierde, corporate journalist at Cordaid

So far, the historic peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban in Doha are essentially a men’s affair. Yet women’s rights and women’s achievements of the past 2 decades, are at stake. “The real work is not in Doha. Doha is the gate to end a brutal war. But peace is not the absence of war,” says prominent activist Zarqa Yaftali. Ms. Yaftali is one of the trailblazing women’s rights defenders Cordaid works with to enhance an inclusive peace process. She won the 2019 UNDP N-Peace Award.

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What’s important to know about women, gender norms, and terrorism

By Stephenie Foster

Effective counterterrorism depends on understanding the unique relationships among women, gender norms, and violent extremism. Those who develop counterterrorism plans and strategies must have an informed view of women’s varied roles in the “terrorism landscape” and the gender dynamics of recruitment, or their work will be less effective. That women and girls are targets of extremist violence and terrorism, including the use of sexual violence and slavery to terrorize, suppress, and demoralize entire communities...

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Women, global norms and local rights

By Swarna Rajagopalan

The annual meeting of governmental representatives that is dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment - Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) - as scheduled to start on March 9, 2020, in a landmark session that has now been truncated because of the coronavirus. Civil society members usually observe the official meetings and also have their own parallel programmes, as has become the norm with UN gatherings in recent decades.

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Fears of Men from Strong Women in Society

By Massouda Kohistani

The country with more than 99 % Muslim,  that the majority of the population are Muslim,  but in most societal norms such as social behavior, business activities, political issues, and many other things, people act upon and following masculinities form. People have never separated themselves from the traditions chain both aware and unaware.  Even most of those people who live outside this border are not far from that tradition. 

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Sitting down to unaffected dialogue

By Zarqa Yaftali

Current events have polarised social circles and even families like never before. Spaces for small talk and everyday updates, from dining tables to WhatsApp groups, feel like a minefield as we struggle to speak our minds but also preserve relationships. To move forward, dialogue is essential among political groups and us. If anything, the dialogue in our homes, canteens and colleges matters more because it shapes the bedrock of values that will inform how we vote and act in the future.

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