Since loss of lives, physical disabilities, displacement, destruction of houses and infrastructure is being experienced differently among men and women, perception of radicalization and violent extremism varies among the genders. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups to violent extremism. Being excluded from peace process and decision making increases women’s vulnerability.Women both in Pakistan and Afghanistan are suffering war and extremism. During war and instability due to violent extremism and radicalization, a lot of families got displaced, lost their members, got disabled and faced many other subsequent problems. EPD along with Aware Girls has conducted a research on “Women’s Responses to Radicalization” to document impact of radicalization and violent extremism on women, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and coping mechanism including counter strategies women use in response to violent extremism.
EPD is planning to facilitate a peace exchange among women in Afghanistan and Pakistan to share their views and experiences and find out approaches for countering radicalization and violent extremism. EPD today on 11th May 2017 invited its Peace Network members from Kabul, Balkh and Nangarhar to discuss about the upcoming peace exchange event. As an inauguration, Mr. Wajid Khan; EPDs executive director briefed the participants on main objectives of the meetings. He emphasized on role of women in peace building and encouraged the members for active participation during the upcoming exchange. The network members raised up their recommendations for effective implementation of this event and suggested that researches and activities conducted by civil society organizations regarding countering violent extremism should be presented during the exchange as well.
EPD believes that recognition of women as agent of peace and their inclusion in decision making can highly enhance peace building. Afghan peace activist network and holding peace exchanges between the countries can highly promote peace building.