EQUALITY for Peace and Development launched a Policy Brief on Afghan Community’s Views on Peace Process. The Policy Brief was produced based on series of dialogues with diverse groups at the grassroots level including religious leaders, community elders, civil society representatives, women, youth and government officials. The dialogues brought together more than 1,000 Afghan men and women in 10 provinces of Afghanistan to discuss the situation in their provinces, the ongoing peace process challenges and opportunities, women’s rights and how such diverse actors can come together and collaborate for peace building, social cohesion and women’s rights in their communities.
Mr. Assadullah Saadati the Vice Chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) one of the speakers, besides thanking EPD for hosting these timely dialogues and summarizing perspectives of participants, mentioned “We are at a crucial juncture of time. A unique opportunity has arisen after forty years of war which if seized can put Afghanistan to a path towards a better and peaceful future. Political settlement is the only solution to end this long-term war and crisis in Afghanistan. If we do not seize this opportunity, the violence and war will continue in Afghanistan and the future will be uncertain. We have to choose between peace and war. We at HCNR are committed to peace.”
Ms. Hosna Jalil the Policy Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs highlighted “EPD has provided us a very well-organized brief of people perspective.” She further added, “As far as the question of repeating the history is concerned, I would say NO. We will not repeat the history for a number of reasons: first, Afghanistan today is different from the past. Today, we have a strong and cohesive security forces, aware and more educated people. When it comes to role of women in the peace process, we should not separate women from others. A woman, like every man, has equal role to play in the peace process of Afghanistan”.
“Islam religion gives women human and fundamental rights such as education, the right to inherit, and the rights to work. As true Muslims, it’s our responsibility to ensure women are granted these rights. There are many challenges and obstacles that women are facing, and we must all join hands to address them” mentioned by Aziz Ahmad Hanif a prominent Islamic scholar.
The last speaker of event, Ms. Shahla Farid a University Lecturer and Activist said “Afghan women do not want the dark history of the 1970s to be repeated. The decade when we lost everything and prisoned to home. I do not expect a lot from the Taliban but just to sit and talk to us the Afghan women. I am concerned about the ongoing peace process and lack of female representatives, particularly from civil society and common people.”
The Policy Brief was launched on 3rd May 2021 with government officials, civil society representatives including grassroots groups, religious leaders and media
We hereby would like to express our gratitude to all participants who despite security and COVID-19 pandemic threats attended the event, media for covering our program, Mr. Assadullah Saadati, Ms. Hosna Jalil, Aziz Ahmad Hanif and Shahla Farid for commenting on the Policy Brief.
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