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Women’s role in peace-building in Afghanistan
March 18, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pmFree
Historic peace talks are currently taking place in Doha, Qatar, between the Taliban and Afghan government negotiators, aiming to end decades of war. Negotiations are long and complicated, and any political settlement needs to find a way to bridge the gap between an austerely Islamic state and the government’s commitment to a constitution that guarantees democracy and women’s rights. If successful, the negotiations will create a road-map for post-war Afghanistan, with an end to violence and a permanent ceasefire.
Societal instability and conflict have eroded the rights of women and minorities in Afghanistan since the Communist coup d’etat in 1978; and when the country was under Taliban control, women were forbidden to work, attend school, or leave the house wearing anything other than an all-concealing burqa.
The situation has improved since 2004, when a New Constitution was established which secured a seat in the two Houses of the Afghan parliament for two women from every province in Afghanistan, and secured mandatory quotas for women’s employment in government and the private sector. There are still many challenges, however, with many women in rural areas suffering from a lack of access to education, low literacy level, and a lack of societal mobility.
It is essential therefore that women have a voice in the ongoing inter-Afghan discussions, and four influential women have been selected as Afghanistan government negotiators. One of these negotiators is one of Afghanistan’s most influential women, Fatima Gailani, who, for this event, will be joined by Mina Al-Oraibi, the first female Editor-in-Chief of The National (an English-language daily newspaper published in Abu Dhabi, UAE). Together, they will discuss the importance of women’s role in the peace negotiations.