On 23rd Jan 2017, an orientation meeting was conducted in EPD’s central office gathering activists in EPD’s newly established Peace Network members. Ms. Najeeba Ayubi, Ms. Hasseena Safi, Ms. Samira Hamidi, Ms. Ghotai Sahebyan and Ms. Parasto Yari were participants from Kabul, on the other hand, 4 participants from Nangarhar and 2 participants from Balkh were in attendance during this meeting.
Mr. Edrees Omarzad started the session by welcoming participants and subsequently briefed the participants about the main objectives of OSA project which will be implemented in partnership with Aware Girls organization in Pakistan. Furthermore, a presentation that highlighted the main activities of the project was delivered to participants.
The aim is to enhance women’s exchanges between Afghanistan and Pakistan for countering radicalization and building peace in both countries. Equality for Peace and Democracy (EPD) along with its partner in Aware Girls in Pakistan will conduct a research to document the impact of radicalization on women’s life and their role and responses for countering radicalization in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will create a bridge between Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s women peace activists, enabling them to take joint actions for inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes across borders, a network of Afghan and Pakistani Women Activist will be developed. The network, will be a platform to build connections between Pakistan and Afghan women working on counter radicalization, learn about dynamics of violent extremism in both countries, women’s responses to it, to build collective peace initiatives, and to advocate for inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes.
Following this session, members of peace network were asked to provide their feedback about the nature of peace talks, storytelling activities, developing strategic paper and similar activities.
Ms. Najeeba Ayubi, recommended that women with political background should be included considering the fact that they have more knowledge and can act as strong members and representative of Afghansitan. As a result, the participants agreed that an advisory committee be established of active peace network members from Nangarhar, Balkh, and Kabul.