Women and Peace in Afghanistan
Peace is a concept expressed by compromise, reconciliation and nonviolent life. Peace is not just the ending violence and war. It encompasses other issues such as justice, economic, security, development, good governance, accountability and transparency.
In our oppressed country [Afghanistan], harmed women feel the pain of the war by all means - when they lose one of their family members or they are injured. Often, the main victims are women or children. It is critical that women be aware of their important and irreplaceable role in the peace process and have to take part claiming this role.
This is so we can slowly we forget the pain of war and have a stable peace in our country. When women unleash their peace-building capacity, they may be able to prevent male family members from participating in war. Ensuring women’s political participation in peace processes to end and prevent war will yield positive results our country and the region. Without women’s leadership and influence, neither the region nor the world will be able to maintain a positive peace.
When women have equal participation in peace-building, we can build ways to nonviolently resolve disputes and the peace shaped in a better way. But if the participation of women is only symbolic, then then peace talks will be slow and have an increased chance of failing.
Article 22nd of the Afghanistan Constitution asserts equality before the law and based on this article, men and women have equal right to participate in governance. Therefore, preventing women’s authentic participation and blocking them from leadership positions is a breach of Afghanistan’s constitution.
Women make up half the population and having our perspectives, solutions, and strategies would be to the benefit of the whole society. The peace process must guarantee physical and economic security of women, their rights, and real justice.
If the government supports raising awareness of fundamental human rights programs, and the national unity government emphasis of this in their policy design and implementation, we will find ourselves on the path to peace. Extension of moral values and institutionalization of peace would cause a stable peace in Afghanistan.
Freshta Karimi is the Director of Da Qanoon Ghushtonky and a WRN Core Member.